Wishing For The End: Pessimistic Worldviews


I used to be a savage connoisseur of apocalyptic theories: Peak oil, Irreversible and Extreme Climate Change, Nuclear Holocaust, World War III... On good days I engaged with the predictions of less disastrous theorists, like the mutualist-anarchist Kevin Carson, who predict a degradation of State Capitalism towards a less industrialized and militarized society of small scale society.

In many ways I hoped these predictions would realize themselves, and realize themselves rather soon. Those around me saw this as an expression of mere pessimism and cynicism, and while I cannot meaningfully call myself an optimist, I always acknowledged to myself the loose ground these ideas stood upon.

I knew the next world war was a real possibility, but not immediately likely. I knew state capitalism was struggling to maintain itself in the age of recession, but never fully believed that technology could fully vacate the men in suits from central control. I also quietly believed that "green energy" alternatives could relieve the worst results of "peak oil" *if* it happens, given that the bureaucrats would suddenly have an overwhelming need to make it happen.

I wanted to believe these things because I hoped for them. I saw no place for myself in the adult, modern world. It was always too complex, to the point where even those who were certain of their skills and desires stood little chance, and I preferred an alternative. An alternative where every other person, and institution, was equal in its failure as I.

I hardly think of these theories now.

Personal disasters have way of shortening your life planning, away from thirty to fifty years away, to thirty of fifty days away.