The Revolution Has No Hollywood Ending

| Strategize!

Above Photo: From Medium.com

After struggling against our own self-destructive tendencies throughout the entirety of recorded history, humanity is now at a point where that struggle is probably going to be resolved, one way or another, within the lifetime of most people reading this.

The movie about this struggle has been written with one of two possible endings. In the first, we are unable to overcome our self-destructive tendencies, and the last of our species dies by radiation poisoning or choking on the dust of an uninhabitable planet. In the second, we evolve beyond our self-destructive tendencies and move into a healthy relationship with our minds, our ecosystem, and each other.

Neither of these two endings would work in a Hollywood blockbuster. In the first, humanity dies off not with a bang but with a whimper as a result of nuclear fallout or climate collapse. In the second, conflict and drama as we know it will cease to exist as we pull up and away from the self-destructive patterns which brought us to this point. We’ll either keep along this same destructive trajectory and meet its inevitable end very soon, or we’ll deviate from that trajectory into something wildly different. In either case, there is no kissing the girl while the credits roll, no coolly striding away from the explosion, and no spin-kicking the bad guy off a cliff into lava after uttering a short, memorable line.

I say this because it seems like a lot of people are kind of hoping for a Hollywood ending in some way. People are hoping that Donald Trump gets arrested for conspiring with Russia and dragged off in chains and everything goes back to normal. People are hoping that President Trump drains the swamp, locks up Hillary Clinton, arrests most of Capitol Hill for child molestation, and destroys the Deep State. People are hoping there’s a violent revolution which restores individual sovereignty to the citizenry. People are hoping there’s a peaceful people’s revolution which ousts the ruling class and replaces the status quo with whatever their personal favored strain of leftism is. Everyone’s subconsciously looking for some big, momentous climax where the Good Guys are vindicated and the Bad Guys are brought to justice.

And it just isn’t going to go down like that.

If you’ve paid much attention to human behavior throughout your life, you know that we reliably repeat the same patterns until there’s inner healing and personal growth. If you’ve experienced inner healing and personal growth, you know that the actual experience of it is generally anti-climactic. True healing is always a game of subtraction, and it moves in the exact opposite direction of the egoically satisfying mental narratives which Hollywood has grown so skilled at providing us. When true inner healing takes place, it doesn’t usually make for a good story, and its effects often go unnoticed for some time, because they are evidenced not in the addition of something new but in the subtraction of something old. You look at your memories of your old unwholesome behavior patterns and think “Hmm, how strange that I used to do that sort of thing!”

If humanity transcends its unwholesome patterns at the end of this movie, it’s going to happen in much the same way. Not in an egoically gratifying way where we see our most hated political figures punished and our own ideological preferences uplifted, but in the simple falling away of old patterns. If human consciousness evolves to the point where we can avert our own destruction, then it will necessarily have dropped the egoic patterns of fear, greed and negativity which kept us bound to our old destructive behaviors. Were that to happen, we’d probably struggle to even remember what we used to stress and rage about when looking at the state of our world.

Nothing else will do the trick. If we do come to some dramatic, egoically satisfying climax, like where all the oligarchs and warmongers are guillotined and their wealth distributed among the needy or whatever, then it isn’t the end of the movie. We have not arrived at a point where we’ve transcended our old patterns, we’ve just seen those old patterns manifest in a way which happens to be egoically pleasing to us in this particular instance. And we will soon see them manifest in ways which we find far from pleasing again.

We will not arrive at our happy ending unless we collectively heal away those old egoic addictions to drama and conflict. Even if we did somehow manage to create a utopia without healing away those old egoic addictions, it would be quickly destroyed and the countdown to doomsday restarted by the gnashing, looping patterns which brought us to the brink of extinction in the first place.

Because guess what? From the perspective of our current state of drama-addicted and conflict-addicted collective consciousness, a world without drama and conflict is dull and worthless. Those addictions will keep leading us toward our destruction until we shed them, if for no other reason than our psychological inability to live in a peaceful, harmonious world.

Are you able to live in a peaceful, harmonious world? A world that is boring to the ego and unsuitable for Hollywood scripts? When I look at the behavior of a lot of activists on social media, it seems like a lot of them fear an end to drama and conflict more than they fear the end of the world. It sounds funny to say, but I think this is legitimately the case for many people. Our addiction to drama and conflict is so strong and our ability to just be at peace in the here and now so weak that keeping things from becoming harmonious can feel like an existential life-and-death need. And we all know people who are strongly predisposed toward stirring up drama to feed that illusory need.

To be able to live in a peaceful world where we collaborate harmoniously with our ecosystem and our fellow humans, we’ll have to transcend our inability to simply be. To have a world where all human ingenuity is pointed at making the world a better place instead of inventing new ways to create landfill for mass consumption and new ways to kill and exploit each other, we’re going to have to have minds that are able to survive in an environment with a lot less conflict, and, once our ingenuity really gets going, a lot less work as well. Minds that can rest comfortably without frenetic busyness or drama. Such minds are currently rare among our species.

The reason there are so many Hollywood movies about dystopian futures and hardly any about utopian futures is because there is no drama and conflict in utopia. Hollywood movies bring in the big bucks by being egoically pleasing to watch; it’s ego candy to watch heroes kicking villains off cliffs, because we can place ourselves in the role of the protagonist and imagine ourselves emerging triumphantly from the drama and conflicts displayed on the screen.

This is why I refer to myself as a “utopia prepper”. In order to have a peaceful, harmonious world, we’re going to have to have minds that are receptive to such a thing. I consider cultivating such a mind to be the most important thing I do in paving the way for paradise on earth, abandoning all attachments to our old ways of operating and opening a path within myself for something new. This will necessarily happen among us all if we’re to see the happy ending of this movie, and if we do it won’t be spectacular. It won’t be egoically gratifying. We’ll simply cease engaging in unwholesome patterns in a very anti-climactic way, begin channeling our ingenuity into making the world a better place, and perhaps once in a while look back on history and think, “Hmm, how strange that we used to do that sort of thing!”

  • tibetan cowboy

    “Minds that can rest comfortably without frenetic busyness or drama. Such minds are currently rare among our species.” This is probably true now.

    Before technology and the current diaspora of sharing, harmonious lives, all native peoples lived the “boring” life to which this author alludes. These were cultures by necessity founded on mutual help and cooperation, for survival. Same goes yet today for Tibetans and Navajo with whom I’ve spent my entire life. I know how they live and think and act. They are and always will be a reminder of what we could’ve been but are not, to me anyhow who knows these folks intimately. Their entire cultures are based on spirituality and en group practice of it in many ways in ceremonies, and in day to day activities. We have NO spirituality in the American culture, period, which is why America promotes worldwide genocide of all life, not only human. With capitalism now ruling all life on earth, the end of all life on the planet is now a certainty. The degree of change in our souls, spirits and minds is simply not possible to avert it anymore.

  • jemcgloin

    Both the author and this commenter make important points.
    In reply to the comment, I would say that it is not enough for a.people to be able to live this way. There must be a way for all of us that are not bent on domination and destruction to come together to protect each other from those that are.
    The global capitalists are expert at attacking one loving community after another, destroying peoples for their resources.
    How can those of us who do not need drama stop those that do from inflicting it on us and those like us?
    Idle No More and similar movements seem to be an attempt to do just that. Can they be a seed for world sanity? Can we at least get those grounded in love asked sharing to cooperate across the world? Would it work? Would it just create more drama?
    This is the question that Occupy kept bringing up for ne over and over. How can those that don’t want to steal and rob and kill protect each other?

  • jemcgloin

    This is a great piece. Ceasing negative behaviours is not glamorous or exciting. (It might work in a quieter film with good music to help tell the story, however.)
    But in general it seems the problem is that people don’t trust each other, because they don’t know each other and can’t be sure the other is trust worthy. Sometimes we are not trust worthy. As long as some of us are untrusting and/or untrustworthy life will be full of uncertainty and drama. The left is less fearful than the right. The right seems to feel cornered, like they have to fight their way out. Part of it seems exasperated by Fox.
    The left mostly just as wants to get along, We believe that people are all equal and all entitled to a minimum of investment by the rest of us, so that we can reach our full potential.

    Humans are the most highly advanced machinery we have and we treat ourselves worse than a car. Our whole society is ordered on saving pennies while doing dollars worth of damage to future generations.

    Anyhow, though I fear it will take a thousand years or more for the human race to mature to the level you describe, just the ability to imagine such a world may be enough at some point, probably when we realize it’s the only way to survive.
    We have been making progress over the last few hundred years. Hopefully we won’t go backwards.
    My strategy is to convince America to follow their own Constitution, because it is a lot better than the social contract that we had before it, and it has improved with age, even though there are constant forces corrupting it. It is robust, but under attack by fascists, always.
    Save the Constitution

  • Pat moore

    Many thanks to Popular resistance for publishing this important article and to the author for his ear thought. If we have a chance going forward, it will be in the hands of those who have moved beyond power and exploitation. I will try today to prep for utopia.

  • Alienate

    Her ear thought. Caitlin is amazing.

  • jho blho

    I don’t fetishize any culture. I’ve shared an apartment with someone who is a member of the Navajo Nation, and I work with another currently, and although I have little understanding of how different the Dine worldview may be, I can tell you that they are as funky human as any of us, and capitalism has had its impact on their perspectives, too.

  • ANTONIO

    i AM NOT IMPRESSED. I dont believe that revolutions can be chosen, as if they were chips at the store. It doesnt matter what you want, the revolution will be the result of a failed capitalism, and everything is going to fall apart. This is what is going to happen, whether you like it or not; SOCIALISM puts an end to exploitation. Working people are organized as the ruling class. Banks, Railways, communications, shipping, large agribusiness and industrial corporations, the military, will all belong to the people, who will decide policy by means of meeting halls, Internet, press, radio and TV. The work week is reduced, with annual paid vacations, free hotels and spas, free medical care, free education including university, culture by and for the people, equality for women in economic, cultural and political life, child care centers. Unemployment is done away with, trade unions assure that workers cannot be fired, the State pays pensions and disability compensation, there is a distribution of housing so that homelessness is done away with, rent is less than 5% of income, all debts are canceled. War propaganda will be outlawed, as will war itself. Poverty will be ended with the recovery of the vast resources now wasted in war production, corporate profits and the extravagant lifestyles of the filthy rich. Production increases, science and technology are advanced, and the environment is protected. With capitalism gone, crime will begin to disappear. It is the profit system that corrupts and breeds crime.

  • Jon

    “abandoning all attachments to our old ways of operating” This applies to BOTH corporate capitalism and state capitalism, masquerading as socialism. We need to collectively invent a form of eco-socialism that is widely embraced.

  • Jon

    But we need to remove from power those who have so badly abused it!

  • Jon

    “the end of all life on the planet is now a certainty.” Despair is NEVER a winning strategy. Resist not only the pervasive evil, but also the temptation to surrender to it.

  • jd2021

    The Zeitgeist Movement must be looked into for anyone who thinks along these lines…

  • chetdude

    Read the article again. Especially this part:

    “From the perspective of our current state of drama-addicted and conflict-addicted collective consciousness, a world without drama and conflict is dull and worthless. Those addictions will keep leading us toward our destruction until we shed them, if for no other reason than our psychological inability to live in a peaceful, harmonious world.”

    As I put it elsewhere:

    “If the GOAL of those who construct and participate in a socioeconomic system (no matter what label you may apply to it) is aligned toward implementing, promoting or tolerating the worst aspects of “human nature” – greed, selfishness, laziness, violence – then it will eventually evolve into what we have now.

    “If the GOAL of those who construct and participate in a socioeconomic system (no matter what label you may apply to it) is aligned toward implementing, promoting and emphasizing the (BORING) best angels of our Nature – compassion, mutual support and sharing, tolerance, non-violence and civility then they will be able to successfully implement what I conveniently label a “Socialist” system according to the definition I’ve already posted.

    “We could just as easily call a system based on emphasizing the Better Angels of our Nature “Survival” or “Nirvana” or “Sanity” or “Xanadu” or “A Place Worth Living In” or hell, the “New Capitalism”…I choose “Socialism” because it’s most easily explained to folks who’ve looked beyond the corporate media’s superficial definition of the label.

    Just somehow “getting rid of capitalism”, the current favorite TOOL of dominator hierarchies won’t heal humanity of that underlying pathology.

  • chetdude

    When a critical mass changes their own minds as described in this excellent article, “those in power” will dissolve away.

  • chetdude

    We don’t have a thousand years.

    Our only hope is an epiphany…

  • chetdude

    I’d say the “inventing” part has begun.

    We need to collectively embrace eco-socialism and the boring, peaceful, internal mental underpinning for it described in this article and hope we can reach critical mass before it’s too late.

  • Jon

    That would be the best outcome, but so often it leads to civil war.

  • Jon

    I would say
    “getting rid of capitalism”,is a necessary, but not sufficient condition–a starting point. This does not at all, however, rule out low level entrepreneurship. In fact I have an essay on this matter posted here a couple of months ago on PR, derives from article on Green Horizon Magazine of Spring 2017 (but the title was altered without my consent.)

  • chetdude

    Which indicates evolutionary traits that if not de-emphasized will result in species suicide.

  • dan

    Provocative article; still I feel we’ll have to rely on a revolution probably not peaceful either. Some of us introverts don’t need as much outward sensory-overload too

  • jemcgloin

    I’d love am epiphany, but I fear a thousand years of painful evolution is more likely.

  • chetdude

    Alas, apparently we only have 11 years to significantly change course.