Elany and Samuel B
Survival in the Endtimes
A Wildpunk “Manifesto”
“The spectre that many try not to see is a simple realisation — the world will not be ‘saved’. Global anarchist revolution is not going to happen. Global climate change is now unstoppable. We are not going to see the worldwide end to civilisation/capitalism/patriarchy/authority. It’s not going to happen any time soon. It’s unlikely to happen ever. The world will not be ‘saved’. Not by activists, not by mass movements, not by charities and not by an insurgent global proletariat. The world will not be ‘saved’. This realisation hurts people. They don’t want it to be true! But it probably is.“
Those are some of the first lines from Desert, likely the most important anarchist work in recent times. Desert confronts us with something that that we all may feel deep inside but don’t want to be true: “Deep in our hearts we all know that the world will not be ‘saved.’”
Meanwhile, most people understand that capitalism is destroying the planet and that studies prognosticate civilization collapse… but then what happens? Certainly, the breakdown of a civilization is nothing new. Countless past civilizations have already collapsed from the power imbalances inherent in every civilization - the Roman Empire, the Mesopotamian Empire, the Incan Empire… But another thing is certain: each has been followed by an even more dangerous civilization.
We currently find ourselves in the era of capitalist-industrial civilization. This time around it acts on the global level and embodies the transformation of the once green Earth into a single desert. The downfall of this civilization will be connected to more pain and destruction than any previous civilization. And in its place, something even more dangerous could again arise if global wars for resources break out and become the new norm. Perhaps a technocratic-fascism. The signs are already there, at least.
Although the signs have never been so dystopian as today, resistance to the system has declined immensely since the two world wars. What hope remains for a global insurrectionary or revolutionary mass that surrenders to the dystopia in order to fend off something even worse? The revolutionary movements of the last two centuries couldn’t finish off capitalism while it was still in its kids shoes, today the revolutionary spirit is largely nipped in the bud. The last decade may have been shaped by new revolts, yet in none of these revolts was it possible to either mobilize a truly broad mass or to bring about actual changes. Even if we could have hope for the masses to once again develop an insurrectionary or revolutionary potential in the future, it would come too late. We don’t have time to hope and wait. The desert comes. Anarchists lose valuable time for action when they concentrate on “mobilizing the masses.” Even if you could succeed in 30 years, what will be left by then?
“The hope of a Big Happy Ending, hurts people; sets the stage for the pain felt when they become disillusioned. Because, truly, who amongst us now really believes? How many have been burnt up by the effort needed to reconcile a fundamentally religious faith in the positive transformation of the world with the reality of life all around us? Yet to be disillusioned — with global revolution/with our capacity to stop climate change — should not alter our anarchist nature, or the love of nature we feel as anarchists. There are many possibilities for liberty and wildness still.” - Desert
Active disillusionment is liberating. It doesn’t mean becoming incapacitated but fighting in the here and now, without any desperate hopes for a “world revolution” that will only leave us waiting while the world around us breaks. Wildpunk recognizes the dystopia of the future and present and tries to face it and create ways of life without at the same time falling into utopianism. The “goal” is not waiting for a better tomorrow but fighting in the here and now to build something still worth living for: for us, our loved ones, our animal and plant world, our Earth. When it is no longer about waiting and hoping, everything is open to us.
A Wildpunk “Manifesto”
1. Wildpunk develops no program for the future and thinks nothing of pre-made blueprints. It is dynamic and fluid and always adapts to the circumstances. All of the points in this “manifesto” can be modified or even thrown out. There should be as many such “programs” as there are anarchists. As you read this, think about what resonates with you personally and what doesn’t. Make your own manifesto. Wildpunk is as wild as anarchy itself.
2. Wildpunk is anarchistic. There is no freedom without anarchy, thus we fight against every authority, in all of its facets and manifestations. It is authority that plunged the world into chaos since it first emerged some 10,000 years ago.
3. Wildpunk is inspired by hunters and gatherers, by African nomadic and small-farming bands, by Indigenous cultures of resistance, by primitive lifeways. In these ways of life we find a source of inspiration for how we can let anarchy flare up in our hearts and spaces. A fire blazes in us…
4. ...and we carry this fire out into the world. Wildpunk stands for direct action, for sabatoge, for rebellion, for insurrection. We may no longer be able to stop climate change, but we can attack and destroy its enablers and their infrastructure of dystopia.
5. The central point of attack on capitalist civilization is industry, which has poisoned the Earth and our bodies. Wildpunk does not fight to take over the means of production but rather to seize the means of destruction and fucking sabotage and burn them down.
6. Wildpunk recognizes that supposedly green energies are not green. No matter what the rulers put on the menu, all of these energies are rooted in an unprecedented ecocide. Energy infrastructure, even the supposedly green, is another weak spot for attack on domination.
7. Wildpunk stands for degrowth and minimalism. Not minimalistic like “if we all just consumed less, we could stop climate change,” but minimalistic in the sense of liberating ones own life from unnecessary and harmful consumption. If the “world revolution” ever actually came and destroyed ALL authority, it would be the end of industry and of consumption anyway.
“Domesticated people sit trapped in sterile little boxes, fed a steady drip of pesticide and high-fructose corn syrup as they labor, consume, consume, consume and then die. This isn’t life. This isn’t anarchy. This is a waking nightmare, a depraved hell-world that has all of us thoroughly brainwashed into thinking it acceptable.” - ziq
8. We network ourselves together to cope with this dystopia because no one fights and lives (long) alone. This bond is based on affinity and friendship, not a forced community in which our own ideals, our wishes, dreams, and needs are subjected and sacrificed to a spooky consensus.
9. Wildpunk fights for LandBack. LandBack means ending the violence that has been done not just to Indigenous peoples but also to our Earth. Only 5% of the world’s population is made up of Indigenous people living on their traditional land. But these people protect 80% of the biological diversity of the planet, the heart and the health of the Earth itself. While industry is fundamentally transforming the Earth into a desert, it is of particular importance to fight for and preserve as much Indigenous land as possible. Perhaps it will be Indigenous people who breathe new life into the Earth when the Desertmakers are devoured by their own dystopia.
“Some indigenous peoples, driven by deeply held land ethics, willingly defend the bio-diverse wildland communities they are part of from development. Others are forced to do so as, rightly or wrongly, states often view them as impediments to progress, or simply want to destroy their habitat to enclose human subjects, other ‘natural resources’ and territory. Either way, the genocidal nature of civilisation ensures that the resistance of minority indigenous communities from the mountains of Orissa to the forests of the Amazon is often an ecosystem’s best defence. Solidarity and joint struggle with such peoples is often the most successful strategy for wilderness defence and one that usually involves few compromises and contradictions for biocentric libertarians.” - Desert
10. Wildpunk stands for true decolonization. That means that we identify and challenge the root cause of colonialism and neo-colonialism itself: civilization. We must consider how we can break the stranglehold of civilization so we can breath again.
11. In harmony with the origin of the word “radical,” which derives from the Latin word for root, today’s radical praxis should take a botanical approach: the cultivation of a system which nourishes us rather than one that destroys us. Guerrilla gardening, the seeding of wildflowers throughout the landscape, and up-cycling are a few of the methods we can utilize. We must create spaces that feed us as much as possible, even if we can’t get out of the trap of industry. Herbicide, fungicide, pesticide, and other poisons have poisoned the soil for decades, maybe more like centuries. We will have to deal with the consequences.
12. Wildpunk supports every forest occupation. Do not let the last woods of this Earth be cleared. Fight as hard as possible to hold onto every last bit of green.
13. As climate catastrophe draws ever closer, we are experiencing a wave of homelessness and climate refugees. Occupy spaces for the homeless and refugees and defend them by any means.
“While future climate wars will be an extension of the present conditions they are likely to be far bigger and more extreme. In some places peoples, anarchists among them, could transform climate wars into successful libertarian insurrections. In others the battle may simply be for survival or even death with dignity and meaning. Those in relativity stable social environments — politically and climatically — will probably be faced by an increasingly oppressive surveillance state and a ‘mass’ which increasingly fears ‘the barbarism beyond the walls.’” - Desert
14. Create and fight for free spaces and autonomous zones of resistance, in which we are ungovernable. It may be impossible to entirely escape capitalist civilization, yet as the world crumbles something awakens inside. When we cultivate what sustains us instead of what destroys us, we can inspire other people to do the same, widening and connecting these zones of resistance. An important element in this effort is building networks to share knowledge and resources and expand our shared capacities.
“Even if an area is seemingly fully under the control of authority there are always places to go, to live in, to love in and to resist from. And we can extend those spaces. The global situation may seem beyond us, but the local never is. As anarchists we are neither entirely powerless nor potentially omnipotent, thankfully.“ - Desert
15. These zones are not just zones of resistance but zones of healing where we can heal from severe trauma. We can’t just rely on the attack. We also need places of retreat. Without healing, we will break ourselves sooner or later.
16. Wildpunk includes disabled people in the struggle. They are the ones who are overlooked and ignored in many anarchist spaces and discourses, and they are also the ones who will be among the hardest hit by the looming catastrophe. We have to be able to take care of disabled (and sick) people around us and give them the support they need.
17. Everyone is involved in the struggle – if they want to and/or are able. Civilization has mutilated many of us not just physically but also psychologically. Many of us will not be in a position to take part in a direct fight, but that doesn’t make us disposable. Maybe we aren’t in a situation to take a hammer in hand but have other skills like, say, hacking. Even without participation in the resistance, for whatever reasons, we are all equally important.
18. Climate change is already here and can no longer be stopped. The desert comes. It is particularly urgent that we learn (survival) skills together. Industrial capitalism has shut us out of vital processes of life such that today we have unlearned a great deal because machinery takes over the thinking for us. Learn skills and abilities and share them. How can we want to become ungovernable if we do not even know how to light a fire without matches and lighters, or even how to make these ourselves?
19. (Armed) self-defense will take up ever more space the more this catastrophe intensifies. We must prepare for conflicts and how we will deal with them. That includes training with weapons alongside self-defense. You can’t rely on peace.
20. Be the change you want to see in the world, whether it comes or not. How can we call ourselves anarchist while simultaneously applying the authoritarian child rearing methods of our parents and grandparents on our own children? Following this path, we will keep breeding new generations who will cling to authority because they have learned nothing else. Kill the cop, the colonizer, the authority in your own head.
It’s not about creating a new identity or developing a program or an ideology with a name. It’s an intentional allusion to Solarpunk. We expose Solarpunk for what it really is: a concept of greenwashing, a reality-denying, deluded ideology of hope which can easily be co-opted by liberal forces (and already is). Wildpunks don’t need hopium to get intoxicated. Our intoxication is the direct attack against authority, against all structures of power
PS: Read Desert