geocommunism

This was first put online in July 2013 at Geocritique and created a little debate there. Though ambitious, it is far too inconsistent to be called a manifesto. It is only meant to enumerate what I think are the most crucial areas for theoretical research in the coming decades, with the hope others will be more systematic.



some principles of geocommunism


Concentration of CO2 has hit 400 ppm. The economic crisis has from the start

been an opportunity for an entrenchment of the economic power of the global elite.

Hiding their oxymoronic status, green capitalism, ethical consumerism and geoengineering

are convincing everyone ecological disaster can be averted. In the face

of the apocalypse it predicts, science remains at worst corrupt and at best

spineless, while the left remains hindered by humanist conceptions of political

agency. Not the modern city or the nation-state, but the Anthropocene is now the

horizon of revolutionary politics.


What follows are theoretical principles. Unlike in 1848 or 1917 there is no spectre of

communism haunting any country. No concrete strategies to take over power can

be formulated. A belief communism can be revived for the twenty-first century is

nonetheless stirring in some academic and activist circles. An understanding that

capitalism does not work is widespread. There is an appetite for revolution and

experiment. And there is a historical resurgence of apocalyptic imaginations. These

currents – anticapitalism, revolution, apocalypse – are now to be pushed to the

point where their complicity with liberal democracy cedes to a properly communist

project. The prefix geo is necessary to signal both a break with nineteenth- and

twentieth-century communism, and that it is the Anthropocene itself that has

inaugurated the desirability of a new mode of production.


Geocommunism consists in politicising science, denaturalising Marxism, minimising

humanism, secularising eschatology, collectivising Stoicism and eternalising

revolution.


1 Politicising science


1.1 The Anthropocene has to be posited as the material and theoretical ground of

any concept of social justice. The combat for justice starts with four facts: 1)

resources are per definition finite, 2) the earth system has been irrevocably altered

by human production, 3) positive feedback loops under capital are accelerating

severe perturbations to ecosystems, 4) humans are in the last instance evolutionary

entities at risk of starvation, disease and brutality. Scientists predicting half of

humanity will perish by 2100 are already proposing fascist responses to these four

facts. This is why a prior consideration of deep time is essential for communist

theorising.


1.2 Science and environmentalism have to be confronted with their ideological

blindness to the true cause of climate change: the capitalist mode of production.

Humans have always had drastic effects on ecosystems, even as hunter-gatherers,

but agriculture then industrialisation were the key thresholds increasing the species’

footprint. Over the last two centuries the exponential increase in deforestation,

resource extraction, greenhouse gas emissions and waste have to be blamed on

one thing only: the unstoppable need of money to increase itself within a

competitive environment. The already tangible effects of climate change indicate

that the sixth massive extinction event in earth history could conceivably include the

end of the human species. Not greed, not mastery of nature or Cartesian dualism,

but the inhuman self-augmenting force of capital is the cause of so-called ecocide.


1.3 The Anthropocene will never be blessed with abundance for all, as both

orthodox communists and green-liberal economists hope. Peak oil and the finitude

of rare earths are only the most obvious indications that scarcity is the future’s

objective imperative. Malthus has so far been overwhelmingly used to justify

capitalist arrangements and bourgeois morality. But his pessimistic view of

destructive positive feedback loops can be politicised into the opposite political

direction once it is conceded selfish consumption amongst the rich and the middleclasses

is the problem, never the multiplication of the poor. When scaled up to the

entire planet Malthus prescribes not only general austerity, that is, the end of

commodity fetishism, but global deindustrialisation, absolute economic equality and

free basic services for all. Ecological footprints can be made benign by keeping

minerals and fossil fuels in the ground. A global demographic transition follows

automatically from equality. Abundance will be spiritual not material, of culture and

pleasure not of goods.


1.4 Capitalism’s delirious love for computers will have to come to an end. As Mao

said, the human capacity for debating, inventing and assembling is more important

than any technology. A Hippocratic oath regulating all science, design and

engineering, not just medicine, will entail that every purely technological fix for

mending catastrophe is exposed as serving narrow interests. The only fix capable of

averting barbarism is a full-blown change in the mode of production. This change

will certainly benefit from computers and satellite communication, but

simultaneously give these entirely new functions.


1.5 Its potential to drastically change the course of terrestrial life means only one

thing for science: it has to shed its juvenile belief in detached objectivity. Most

present-day science is fundamentally skewed and dishonest by virtue of being

literally bought and prescribed by corporate and geopolitical interests. The

dedication of Hippocrates to rigour and serving the people was far more

accomplished than the rat race for patents and fame we see today. Still, science,

especially geology, is becoming increasingly aware of environmental injustices and

the likelihood of catastrophe. But science has yet to become reflexive about its own

maintenance of the economic inequalities which make it possible. Only in making

justice and critical thinking part of their rational vocation are the sciences properly

scientific, that is, at odds with money, common sense and dogma. For this

conversations with Marxism and psychoanalysis are indispensable.


2 Denaturalising Marxism


2.1 Marx inherited the nature-culture split of German Idealism and Neoplatonic

Christianity. While in Hegel the march of the human spirit progressively emancipates

itself from nature, historical materialism conceives production and emancipation as

necessarily involving nature, but its notion of nature still remains largely idealist

(exterior, static, calculable), therefore ambiguous about the place of humans ‘within’

it. Through this Hegelian concept of nature Marxism has on the whole allowed

bourgeois philosophy to formulate what evolutionary theory means to the moral and

epistemological terrain. The implications for philosophy of Darwin (and Lyell) are at

least equal to those of Kant, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. The disdain for biology

among Marxists indicates they are not ready to think about ending the capitalist

mode of production. They are not thinking about the question: how will ten billion

humans live equitably on this planet?


2.2 Like Man and God, Nature has to be jettisoned categorically. The main

connotations of the term – essence, what lies absolutely outside the human,

obeying immutable laws, pure and sublime, encompassing everything, harmonious

– are all ideological cement in capital’s destructive ecology. When used in

environmentalism and Marxism, including the Frankfurt School and ecosocialism,

the monolithic abstraction of the term prevents understanding the precise ways

capital unleashes ecosystemic disaster and environmental injustice. Any casting of a

realm of Nature outside the human prevents building a new mode of production

generating equality from within the complexities of biophysical systems.


2.3 The scientificity of Marxism must be reinstated after the necessary attacks on

positivism and realism. While empiricism has indeed been a bourgeois ideology

there is nothing in the scientific method itself that blocks a communist stance, as

Lenin and Engels argued. A minimal positivism has to be invented which retains the

utopian universalism of Comte and the Vienna Circle. By subtracting the links

positivism has had with nationalism (Brazil) and industrialism (Japan), the unification

and diffusion of science is put at the service of egalitarian society. This full

politicisation of science is the partial solution to the question what constitutes the

legitimacy of revolutionary authority. The geocommunist vanguard leads social

formations into another mode of production largely based on the trust its scientists

gain amongst the people, who are educated to understand the collective movement

towards equality, and who critique the vanguard where it does not act in the global

interest.


2.4 Communism has to fully accept humans are vulnerable and unpredictable

biophysical systems, albeit ones which can become conscious of their destiny as

Kant and Hegel say. Communism has to embrace the ontological implications of

complex systems and human evolution, now usually ideologically rightwing. Getting

rid of its metaphysical concept of nature Marxism can start grafting its categories

onto biological and physical concepts such as force, entropy, population,

emergence, event, uncertainty, endosymbiosis, toxicity, threshold and bottleneck.


2.5 A fully materialist position has the same ontology subtending its politics and its

science: the future of the Anthropocene requires thinking their claims to universality

together. Deleuze and Guattari came closest to providing such an ontology, but they

landed too close to anarchism. Their ontology, together with the failures of

communist industrialisation and social engineering, constitute the starting point for

conceiving geocommunist positivism.


Science without politics is empty: under the generalised Hippocratic oath, and firmly

against the situation of the last centuries, the only reason to subsidise research is to

challenge inherited knowledge and bring lasting global equality. Critical scientific

thinking includes dealing with those moments where science contradicts current

political beliefs (there can be no party line in science). Politics without science is

blind: revolutionary planning decisions bump into demographic and ecosystemic

limits if they are not informed by rigorous research and debate. Science and politics

together, however, are nothing without philosophy distinguishing them. A fully

materialist position requires that philosophy is not an exchange of ideas amongst

the few but affects all the spaces to be transformed into a communist mode of

production.


3 Minimal humanism


3.1 Hegemonic Western humanism believes firmly in the progress of knowledge,

technology and colonisation. The implications for the rest of life have been an

afterthought. The ecology of global capitalism has for some four centuries been

intrinsically racist, making white populations live longer and better at the expense of

the toil and suffering of others. Humanitarian campaigns after ‘natural’ disasters in

the South (the 2010 Haiti earthquake), disasters which will become routine if

capitalism goes on as it does, are the clearest example of the continuing racist

hypocrisy underneath Western humanism. For the truly rational humanist response

to such disasters is to prevent them, to change the economic structure making

brown and black populations die in disproportionately large numbers where extreme

weather, drought or earthquakes strike. As activists point out, places suffering most

from climate change have contributed least to carbon emissions. The Anthropocene

is in itself a racist biopolitical reality.


3.2 Geocommunism follows in the footsteps of the antihumanist tendency in French

structuralism. Not man, but impersonal systems, ideologies, the earth itself, are the

object of truth practices. The true sciences of the human – that is, Marxism and

psychoanalysis as reformulated after Lévi-Strauss, Lacan, Foucault and Althusser –

are structuralist and deal with pattern and rupture at the level of abstract virtual

structures. Clearly consumer capitalism thrives on humanist themes like

wholesomeness, pity and personality. However, structuralism ultimately retains of

humanism the incapability to think the human as self-destructive terrestrial force,

because it too continues thinking within a pre-Darwinian, idealist ontological

framework.


3.3 Humanism becomes reactionary when it decries the inauthenticity of technology

or urban society. Critiques of alienation, the rape of Gaia and so on are often cryptofascist.

What should be critiqued instead is how both technological optimism and

many celebrations of place are complicit with the capitalist system, and how they

obscure the socio-ecological exploitations they are based on. Psychoanalysis is

central to combating the New Age and touristic platitudes of place and community.

Desire is per definition alienating, enigmatic and violent. Human instincts are not

simply about self-preservation, as can be seen in commodity fetishism and the

many neuroses and psychoses of capitalism. Psychoanalysis is also important for

examining the proliferation of fears under the Anthropocene and for debunking the

fantasies behind geo-engineering and similar autistic capitalist solutions to climate

change. Minimal humanism derives from psychoanalysis a definition of truth that is

not objectivist but cryptic, interpersonal, retroactive and subversive.


3.4 Humanisms are conceivable which develop and celebrate human capacities as

aberrant and vulnerable not central to the physical universe. Geocommunism

retains three minimal tenets of the Greco-Roman and Renaissance humanist legacy:

universality, secularism and optimism.


The latent universality of the human species – all humans think and speak – is an

empirical truism. It is as an animal capable of choosing a just future that humanity is

a site of universality. Though populations are extremely unevenly related to the

Anthropocene and almost all imaginations of human unity on ‘spaceship Earth’ are

implicitly racist, the Anthropocene does raise the unprecedented question of who

will take responsibility for ensuring the conditions of survival of all other humans

henceforth. The hope for (bio)diversity, community, rights to indigenous way of life,

and specifically feminine values cannot withstand the universalising onslaught of

capital, and has to be replaced by a combative project for global environmental

justice.


Such militant humanism is strengthened through debate about the meaning of man,

woman and evil in the universe amongst all the philosophical and cosmological

traditions capable of such debate: monotheistic, Central-African, Meso-American,

Hindu, Chinese, etc. This debate aims not at ecumenical respect for diversity of

viewpoints but the rigorous development of a world after capitalist destruction.


3.5 Renaissance humanism emerged together with mathematical physics and

anticlericalism, an insistence on scientific reasoning indispensable for

geocommunist universalism. Literacy and intellectual pursuits have to be defended

against current obsessions with indigeneity and corporeality: nonmodern

cosmologies should hekp to displace capitalist subjectivity, not provide another New

Age genre. An unabashed bibliophilia is essential to abort the increasingly dogmatic

screen-mediated stupidity working so well for global capital. Knowledge production

has to be decoupled from profit, war, gadgetry and all its racist and masculinist

limitations.


3.6 What has to be retained from humanism is finally quite simply the conviction

humans are worth their salvation. The fashionable nihilism that fantasises the

universe comes to its unintended fruition with the demise of civilisation or

consciousness is but a narcissistic fascination with one’s own lyrical description of

the decadent end, lacking courage to do much about it. Politically such

aestheticism implies either the formation of fascistoid groupuscules or mass suicide.

Geocommunism has to face and explain its pessimism about the near future, but

optimistically affirms its longterm objectives as feasible.


4 Secular eschatology


4.1 Philosophy of history has to be revived after the necessary demystifications of

its whiteness, masculinity and linear progressivism. The Anthropocene forces upon

us a fundamental rethinking of the question whether there is a direction and

purpose to the universe, the question of teleology. Philosophy has rarely considered

human extinction, delegating the topic to religion. Was the destructibility of man’s

home part of God’s plan? Is intelligent life mere accident? Or is there an ubiquitous

tendency towards selforganisation which came to an apex in the geniuses of

quantum physics? Geocommunism resists all vitalism and holds that the physical

universe is absolutely devoid of prior purpose. But no intrinsic direction does not

mean no direction at all. All organisms actively transform their environments. A

minimal humanism holds that humans are exceptionally adept at imbuing

environments with purpose. The material existence of humans propels them to

create their destiny, which means they can also quite easily prepare for

unmentionable evil and their own extinction.


4.2 Hegel foresaw a metaphysical, non-chronological end of history, the pinnacle of

his idealist system when the collective human spirit completely understands itself,

freed from natural and cultural contingencies, and contributes in full consciousness

to the commonwealth whose laws and values it has itself created. This end-point is

no static transcendent mystical goal but already exists wherever spirit makes real

progress towards universality, changing together with the historical trajectory

towards it. Hegel’s teleology is a call to history-making. It inspired generation after

generation to contemplate an inexorable direction in world history towards

emancipation. Geocommunism shares the pessimism of the late Kant: it is more

probable that capital and war will put an end to history together with human life

itself. But this final cataclysmic possibility also means the maturation of the

conditions of possibility for an end of history in the Hegelian sense. While humans

possess an ineradicable propensity to evil, and communism does not have any

objective intrinsic necessity, the challenge is to make the future demonstrate

communism had been necessary all along.


4.3 Geocommunism reformulates the notion of teleology on the level of politics, not

life or history: teleology as self-fulfilling political prophecy. The goal of human

existence is posited as universal justice, but it is utterly contingent on the collective

responsibility and working towards it. Hegel and Kant might have understood our

planetary crisis as a strange unexpected confirmation of the final possibility of moral

universalisation and the becoming conscious of spirit, albeit via its exteriority, nature.

With much of the future of the biosphere in its hands it is indeed as if the human

evolved for the sole purpose of deciding about the planet’s development. However,

it is not spirit or judgment in general but always particular powerful institutions and

groups that decide. Reinventing teleology is understanding the power relations

within the species, the weight of the movement towards universal emancipation

weighing in on every ecological decision. Future catastrophe will remember today’s

selfish and stupid decisions.


4.4 Marxist theory has had its messianic, shamanic and other quasi-religious

moments, but its Enlightenment background makes it ignorant about extinction.

The End is becoming a polemical and cinematic focus more than it was during the

Cold War. This is creating few big ideas on the left. Geocommunism will take full

advantage of the contradictions within the alarmist affects and narratives that will

certainly proliferate in the society of the spectacle. Terror about the world coming to

an end is already used for pushing capital and war. If followed up with reason and a

sense of justice, however, fear leads to embracing a different economy: how on

earth could capitalism honestly propose any solution to the crises it causes?


4.5 Apocalypse (revelation) is becoming a secularised concept. It is a central critical

concept in geocommunism, formulated through science and politics though

inescapably inspired by various eschatological traditions (Christian, Hindu, Aztec,

Tupi). Secularising the concept means that what is revealed in the end-times is the

unspeakable horror of human, not divine, agency. The Anthropocene is the

possibility – the option - of a minority of selfish humans ordering the gradual

extinction of the human species as a whole and many other species with it.

Understanding the socio-ecological tendencies towards such annihilation

automatically reveals communism as the only pathway to retain the biosphere’s

carrying capacity for the human species.


4.6 Secular eschatology is from the start formulated in the name of all humans,

and therefore vast swaths of the biosphere. Communist borrowings from religion –

chiefly Judaism and Christianity, occasionally indigenous cosmologies – are

understandable in a situation where big ideas are needed, but this can thwart the

universalism needed for the Anthropocene, which is as colourless as capital and will

soon no longer be dominated by the European Union and the United States.

Religion’s model of redemption is anthropocentric and operates through spirit(s),

while real salvation will happen through material practices. The long day of

judgement will consist not so much of punishing past sins as rendering the evils of

increasing greenhouse gases, racism, war, patriarchy, landfills, acidification, etc.

progressively impossible.


5 Stoic collectivism

[2017 note: I meant collective Stoicism]


5.1 Stoicism is a philosophical system particular to European Antiquity but

geocommunism assumes it is a universal cultural tendency. Forerunners of minimal

non-anthropocentric humanism, both the Stoics and the Epicureans theorise virtue

in the name of the cosmic order. Ethics derives from physics, somehow. For Asian

philosophies too, becoming properly human means cultivating the whole universe’s

tendencies towards accord and generativity. However necessary, Kant’s absolutely

human morality flounders where biophysical crisis forces it to substantiate itself. If

the most accomplished moralists (Roman Stoic and Confucian) use virtue ultimately

to stabilise empire, communist virtue is expressly revolutionary. Today Stoicism

consists in committing to the long-term dismantling of the capitalist mode of

production, precisely because it is crazily violating every aspect of ethics and

physics. Because climate change is evil incarnated, virtue can only be

geocommunist.


5.2 Stoicism is not grim but cheerful about the innate duty towards life. It teaches

us how to die: without regretting missed opportunities to creatively contribute to the

collective future. Socrates was jolly till the end (more so than Jesus). Stoicism does

not prohibit enjoyment, only the neurotic and paranoid kinds, underanalysed by

Epicureans. The Anthropocene commands a new valuation of the various ascetic

traditions, ushering in general indignation about possession and accumulation,

something Christianity failed to achieve. True lasting pleasure is derived from

developing ‘the simple life’, one centred on benevolence, reason, health and feeling

at home with strangers and constant biophysical peril (cosmopolitanism). Unlike

deep ecology and Marxist humanism, Stoicism joins a movement of universalisation

out from the zone of human comfort. It consists of the self-disciplining

reinforcement of an obscure yet certain destiny of justice, given to it by the rest of

the earth. Stoicism’s concern is not the flourishing of individuality nor the warmth of

community or holistic ecosystem, but the constant rising up to the challenge that

the next day may be one’s last.


5.3 Its friendliness to science does not mean geocommunism is naturalist or

reductionist. It refuses to define a lost originary human nature, true use-value or ‘real

needs’. Human social formations respond to drives (sex, hunger, vocalisation,

excretion, fear, stupor) found in other animals, but these drives are contradictory.

Racism, addiction and greedy calculation thrive on instinct, and will resurface in

future communist society. But irrational generosity and miscegenation are equally

instinctual. Asceticism includes the becoming conscious of an animal’s propensities

to selfishness and self-destructive violence. As Buddhism teaches, relinquishing the

habituation to ego and property is self-liberation before it is sacrifice. Human biology

is fully capable of pushing generosity away from its hypocritical pious modes

towards a lasting collectivist horizon.


5.4 Geocommunism is a very-long-term project to bring everyone to the same level

not of the current Global North’s middle-classes, but the South’s proletariat.

Everyday resilience in slums, refugee camps and so-called failed states (Congo)

shows how maximal value can be obtained from minimal supply of resources and

services. The global wealth gap is to be crossed the other way, therefore, which will

initially consist of huge sacrifices for the North. Another theological concept,

sacrifice is to become secularised, de-nationalised and de-individualised. The

eventual result is that all humans have the material comfort, cultural opportunities

and environmental footprint slightly above the average Cuban household today.

Expropriation and collectivisation occur systematically through state institutions and

science-based planning and debate. The rich (first the rich countries collectively,

then the rich in every country) understand they are not only giving back what was

never theirs but securing the survival of future generations. Given the momentum of

avarice and cynicism under capitalism, coercion in this massive expropriation

project seems unavoidable. Learning Stoicism, however, the rich will understand a

sacrificial attitude follows both logically and affectively from impending doom. They

will understand that the sacrifice of financial power and overconsumption under the

Anthropocene illuminates the human propensity to saintliness more than any

moment in history.


5.5 Nation-states dissolve into a global federation of dense cities counting one to

ten million and governed by the principle of subsidiarity. Large wilderness areas

between these cities are left uninhabited, starting with today’s fragile ecosystems.

All energy comes from renewables, all waste is recycled. Agriculture is done within

and close to urban areas, manufacturing is a steel. Labour exists only for the

common good: three days of work a week suffice, retirement can be taken at forty.

Housing, health care, education, arts, sports, transport are free. So are electricity

and water, but they are severely limited compared to today. Medicine no longer

aims at prolonging some lives desperately while letting others barely start: seventy

years of creative living will be quite enough. Things are made to last decades or

centuries. Computers, whose cyclical obsoleteness and ubiquity is now

ideologically central to capitalism, will be clunky non-portable affairs. Exchange is

encouraged insofar as it brings durables to those who can be more creative

tinkering with them than previous owners. Television is no longer watched in

households. Cars, air travel, red meat, exotic fruits, psychoactive drugs and

jewellery are luxuries everyone has access to on an occasional basis, through a

system marked by fairness and generosity instead of competition and kinship.

Contest and individual projects don’t disappear under Stoic collectivism, but merit

and talent have a universalising not individualising impetus. One gains social

recognition for his or her dedication to establishing humanity’s peculiar place in the

cosmos, which can be done in countless ways.


5.6 Markets will continue existing as crucial places for the exchange of ideas and

news as much as goods. The thorniest problem preventing generalised Stoicism

and a communist mode of production is money. Money intrinsically creates a

system of, and a desire for, quantification, accumulation and ego, even before

capitalism. With banks abolished, money will be reduced to its most basic functions

before being superseded by barter and gifts.


5.7 The benefits of geocommunism are so obvious that the few putting career

before leisure and self before other, nostalgic for the old days of class and nation,

are social misfits. Geocommunism requires no propaganda or censorship as such:

its direct justification is the history of capital and war deranging the earth.


6 Eternal revolution


6.1 Many mistakes have been made in communist politics but it has far from

exhausted possible ways of strategising struggle. Geocommunism gathers

momentum by seeking the most universal – that is, planetarily imaginative –

elements from past revolutionary sequences. The goal of radically redefining the

relationship between government and people, country and city, intellectual and

manual labour, work and pleasure, and man and woman in the late 1960s has to be

back on the agenda. Radical movements and moments have to be analysed as

unfinished potentials insofar as their global material context was not fully in view:

anticolonial struggles over land from Mexico to India and Palestine; the French,

Haitian, Russian, Spanish, Chinese and Cuban Revolutions, and recent leftward

turns in Latin America; the Paris and Shanghai Communes; the popular overthrow

of totalitarian communism and apartheid; anticapitalist movements first

concentrated at Seattle; and, most importantly, the transnational efforts at revolution

in 1848, 1968 and 2011.


These political subjectifications did not take into full account the imbrications of

capital in the ecosystems which are to provide food, water, housing and energy for

the masses of humanity. This omission has been pointed out in ecosocialism and

third world and indigenous activism, but geocommunism, qua communism, goes

further, and calls for the institution of new modes of production globally, not the

restitution of local lifeworlds or the rights of Mother Earth (the Cochabamba

Protocol). Capitalism feeds off deep animal desires and fossilised solar energy

hence is absolutely not ‘at war with nature’. Even if Kantian radical evil means no

perfect planetary justice is achievable, the psychotic destructiveness of capital can

be stamped out.


6.2 Against a current dominance in the revolutionary left of anarchism and direct

democracy, Lenin’s prescription of a group of professional revolutionaries taking

leadership in reorganising society still holds true. However, Lenin’s scientism made

him blind to the fact that the economic and bureaucratic structures communism

inherits from capitalism themselves tend towards exploitation and environmental

degradation. The aim is not only take-over of power but the dismantling of the

industrial and military complex. Hence geocommunist revolution is at once political,

economic and cultural. Revolution becomes a way of life yet prevents itself from

tipping over into chaos. The ever-growing successes of the new communist modes

of production, of peace-keeping and of disaster relief, not ideology per se, are what

will convince the masses of the revolution’s justice and feasibility. Science will aid

the war over information unlike it did for Lenin, as it is already telling the world the

objective reasons why geocommunism is necessary. If bourgeois media attempt to

discredit us, we point at climate scenarios.


6.3 The temporality of revolution is well known: it is one of urgency about the

problems at hand; patience in mobilisation; retroactive constitution of sudden

breakthroughs (the revolutionary sequences as such) which are remembered and

repeated without nostalgia; anticipation of defeat with a realist not theological hope

in salvation; eternity of the principles of justice, trust and equality. There is a

geocommunist use of utopianism, especially in planning, but science and informed

public debate always take priority. The spatiality of revolution is more daunting to

fathom. How can communism ever be victorious over the immense thickness of

global capitalism, especially now that the consensus is that communism is dead

and buried? What is certain is that capital is too good at ignoring or reabsorbing

local creativities like Occupy for believing experimentation without some kind of

charismatic centralisation can change the overall system.


The Anthropocene calls for a Geocommunist International consisting of national and

city chapters whose autonomy is initially strictly limited by the simplicity and

pragmatism of the objectives. Revolution unfolds as a densifying network of sites

connected not merely through a clear internationalist perspective but the

concomitant scientific investigation of how the geographies of governance and

production are to be transformed. Exactly how and where capitalist governments

can be first successfully disassembled – that is, instigating further successes

without provoking more militarised anticommunism – can be ascertained only once

the Geocommunist International has commenced its war of position. It has to be a

spectre haunting much of the earth before it can become of flesh and blood.


6.4 The models of self-constitutive, non-spontaneous, permanent revolution in

Lenin, Luxemburg, Trotsky and Mao have to be reimagined in light of far-reaching

financialisation and the demands the earth puts on what is possible in the very long

term. These models remain voluntarist to the extent that the objectives of revolution

are defined politically, in terms of the usurpation of particular institutional regimes of

labour and distribution that inherit the anthropo- and Eurocentric growth imperative.

Geocommunist revolution imagines itself from the start at the scale of the planet. It

attempts to think production on geological timescales (hydrocarbons, water and

nitrogen cycles, polar methane, gene mutation, uranium, ozone, plastics). Its

political strategies are immediately economic, deriving from science and from

ordinary people’s resilience a continuously reformulated programme to adapt

production to changing biophysical conditions. The revolution is therefore not just

permanent, but eternal, as these conditions will always change and already bear the

mark of human stupidity.


6.5 Collectively monitored and centralised institutions will be necessary for

deindustrialisation, science and education, resource management and eventually

demonetarisation. Gradually the state intervenes only when and where there is

crisis. Gradually ownership becomes irrelevant. As the earth enters an era without

environmental injustice, anthropogenic climate change and cascading extinction,

the state withers away. It is impossible to foresee the form of the federations of

cities under global geocommunism – in particular, how knowledge, decision-making

and production will interlock – but we know a state based on repression and war is

doomed.


6.6 Communism is the end of class, race and nation as we have known them.

There will be no more North and South, no more resource wars or militarised

borders, no more growth, backwardness, underdevelopment, not even a steadystate

economy. It is the biosphere itself which demands an economic system

actively blocking the emergence of disparities and segregations. Though there will

be a massive meltdown of global processes, first and foremost in finance, the

geocommunist mode of production is much more than simply slowing-down,

downscaling and localising, because resource disparities can in the medium-term

only be dealt with using the speeds and know-how of global networks.

Geocommunism aims at sustainability, but by working through a chaotic biospheric

undergrowth which itself undermines all forms of sustainability. What is sustained is

no longer trade and profit but the movement beyond the Anthropocene towards

justice, the elimination of racist vulnerabilities, the shedding of absurdity.


6.7 ‘Take care that in my enthusiasm I don’t deceive both myself and you, and that I

don’t go off like a bee leaving my sting behind’ (Phaedo 91c).



some essential books


Adorno & Horkheimer Dialectic of Enlightenment

Althusser For Marx

Badiou Saint Paul

Braudel Civilization and Capitalism

Comte General View of Positivism

Darwin Descent of Man

Deleuze & Guattari Thousand Plateaus

Erasmus Handbook for the Christian Soldier

Fanon Wretched of the Earth

Freud Beyond the Pleasure Principle

Hegel Philosophy of History

IPPC Assessment Reports

Kant Religion within the Bounds of Reason Alone

Lenin State and Revolution

Luxemburg Reform or Revolution

Malthus Principle of Population

Marcus Aurelius Meditations

Mao Quotations

Marx Capital

Marx & Engels Communist Manifesto

Nietzsche Genealogy of Morals

Prigogine & Stengers Order out of Chaos

Rousseau Discourse on Inequality

Seneca On the Shortness of Life

Vernadsky Biosphere