As a kid I remember wanting to write a futuristic dystopian story about how one day, in some distant far away time where space travel was as accessible as an airplane ride to Europe, we would all be a financialized commodity. We would be taxed for breathing, thinking and expelling any energy in order to sustain our own existence. We would be the thing that an evil entity like a Lex Luther Corp. or worse yet, The Government, would make money off of.
I wanted to write a story about how a band of rebels made up of tech geeks, artists, theatrical performers, athletes, whiz kids, the disabled, LGBTQIA, ex-cons and creatives all got together to buck the system and turn this nightmare of monetization of our lives into something we could make a profit of for ourselves to sustain our own lives, not just the wealthy lives that used us. For instance, in my story we were charged $50 per day if we flushed our toilet 25 times. We were assessed at taking over 3000 breaths per day which meant we owed The Government $300 per month for such a luxury as oxygen. In my little fantasy fiction we looked out for ourselves and for the overtaxed slaves that seemed to prop up The Government Machine that lived lavish lives off our blood, breath and life. We knew our existence was more than just a stockpile of credits and cash payouts for the rich. We knew as humans, even if we were derelict, we had the right to a meritocracy that the wealthy and The Government who usurped our autonomy had.
We would hold our energy hostage until our demands were met. In my little novel the rebels somehow figured out ways to re-route our energy back into a system that kept it away from the Lex Luthor Corp. organization, or The Government, either which were the most extreme version of exploitation you could imagine. We did crazy things like convince the population to take safe sleeping pills and put themselves into self-induced comas because, we explained, our bodies at rest could never feed the parasitic system that drained all our life forces. We could then channel our thoughts and what little energy we did expel into our own reserves and use them sparingly as needed.
The System and The Government, feeling the sting of having to look inward to sustain itself instead of outward toward us to exploit, would be forced to compensate us. For without us the system disintegrates. It evaporates and becomes weak and powerless. By forcing ourselves to go slack, to go underground, to go into hiding, to fall asleep The Parasitic System weakened and splintered.
I first discovered Cory Morningstar by accident. I’m not all that active on Facebook and at the time my Twitter followers weren’t that connected to her either. I don’t know how I found her. But I did. Greta Thunberg had just made her staged appearance in front of Swedish Parliament holding her lonely “We Don’t Have Time Sign” and Mornginstar was there at the ready, to explain who Greta was and more importantly, who was financing her. And as I read Ms. Morningstar’s page and epic essays broken down into “Acts” in artofannihilation.com, I realized my teenaged or young adult foray into a fantasy futuristic dystopia was actually a very real reality.
I was horrified. We are horrified. No one wants to see their worst nightmare come true.
I was then led to wrongkindofgreen which is a group of essayists, writers, critics and social anthropologists who peel back the layers of what’s behind some of the worst atrocities committed on us (humankind) and the Earth that so graciously houses us. These analysts must be the greatest critical thinkers of our time with Morningstar at the helm forcing us to look beyond the storm of propaganda and emotional push and pull of “The Story of Greta and Her Compelling Message To Save the Planet.”
We at Book of Ours were inspired enough to do a video in a gossip-girl esque style, where our announcer hits the equivalent of Page 6’s gossip column and tells the story of Greta and How She Sails to Save the Planet and save the Billionaire Class in the same tone that Kristen Bell used when she introduced the first Gossip Girl story line voiceover on the CW over a decade ago.
How Dare I! not break down the Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg in an easy-to-read analysis of how our carbon footprint will be used to vilify our existences and justify the ratcheting up of vitriol toward us in the media, only to have the billionaire class swoop in and save the day through Green New Deals and the non profit industrial complex provided to us through philanthropy and love. Living our lives comes at a great cost to the planet and it must be paid for by: your pension, your future and your children’s future. Like I’ve always said (since Bill Clinton broke apart social safety nets in our country in the 1990’s), “Well, I hope you like your kids. Because they are never going to be able to afford to leave you and move out on their own.” Cost of living goes up while wages actually, in reality, go down. We’ve been told they stagnated. They haven’t. If you factor in just a few things, one of which is legalized slave labor through our prison industrial complex, wages have reversed over time here in the United States. In the 1870’s the profit margins of capital were at a 43% surplus. Now, they are at 17%. So where do we make up that loss?
You can open up the website and read about your own monetization just like I did. There is not one shred of anecdotal hyperbole in Morningstar’s work by the way. It’s really just the who’s who of the various Non Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) and their financiers, board members, CEO’s and marketing team. She doesn’t even really “go after” Greta at all. She just mentions that Greta is being used as the mascot for environmental outrage as the cause célèbre.
What does it mean philosophically when we, humans, and the Planet itself becomes financialized or monetized? I guess it means that the moral veil has torn. There is this hyper religiosity around shaming anyone who challenges the goal of the billionaires and the capitalist system that controls the NGO’s and the Government. People will scream and beg and holler for their own oppression and demand that you do too, just like they do when they vote and just like they have done for a millennia when they have been brainwashed into leaping toward their own enslavement, oppression and ultimate demise. This is how the wealthy class maintain their wealth: by convincing us it’s what we need for our own self-preservation. This is Stockholm Syndrome on steroids as evidenced through the UK-based environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion and the film Banking Nature.
I’ll end this piece with a sobering reminder about the last financial crash we experienced which led to insurmountable hardship and squeezed out our middle class in the United States. In 2007-2008, lending houses created a market out of nothing buy offering low mortgage rates to first-time home owners. A system of waste, fraud and abuse was created in our credit market and it caused the entire global system to collapse, throwing millions across the planet into poverty and serfdom and onto the street. In some countries the fraudsters went to jail and the people whose lives were shaken to the core were compensated and they were able to build back up. In the United States the fraudsters all got bonuses, the fraudulent banks were bailed out and the unhoused in our country sky rocketed to numbers never seen before and the term “Tent City” became normalized in our day-to-day conversations. This collapse of a safety net while simultaneously building up the few wealthy owners among us was the test balloon for the financialization of you, the monetization of your need for a home to call your own and the exploitation of the poor wanting a better life.
What’s coming next is going to make that look like a cakewalk.
Are you ready?