Excerpts from Introduction to Third Phase Transition: Solving The Anthropocene Crisis

On human nature and social mutiny

“Social mutiny, as an expression of human nature under the conditions of class society, explains its latent or potent presence as an integral part of civilisation – indeed its transformative force.”

“Twentieth century history provides ample demonstration of social mutinies breaking out. It also demonstrates how social mutiny, when aborted through political substitution, and lacking awareness of its own self-organising principle, necessarily has produced violently reactionary results.”

“Now there exist abundantly accumulating human motive forces and means of cooperation, potentially capable of solving the Anthropocene crisis, if only liberating themselves from obsolete class society’s destructive interference. Such a completion of the third phase transition has got the quality of one uninterrupted, self-disseminating and accelerating process – social mutiny – corresponding to the species completing its self-organising nature.”

“[G]lobal social mutiny [is] the road to progressively completing the third phase transition. … Thereby, a third order approximation to human nature is formulated. The first order approximation – cooperativity – corresponded to what had evolved out of human self-organisation within nature. It had resulted in the first phase of human metabolism – harvesting metabolism. The second order approximation – segregated associationism – corresponded to the second phase of human metabolism – linear or exploitative metabolism. The third order approximation – integrative associationism – corresponds to what might be achieved within a third phase of human metabolism – globally advanced circular metabolism. That means humanity reintegrating within itself and within the naturally evolving earth system.”

“Integrating applied science in everyday life, integrating labour and consumption of social life, integrating natural and social science into a completed earth system science, and in turn re-integrating humanity within nature, are all expressions of one and the same process – social mutiny against the disintegrating and socio-naturally unsustainable remnants of class society. A new life now begins.”

“The majority can only change course, in the interest of society, of the planet, and of life, by freely associating. This is tantamount to breaking up from its incapacitated social status. Majoritarian self-organisation means social mutiny.”

“Social mutiny is already underway. It is trickling out of massively accumulating human needs. These are starting to break through the monopolised resource control of class society. But social mutiny is still unconscious of its own common nature and of its inherent power yet untapped.

Habits, traditions, institutions, and the disciplines corresponding to them keep blinding, by wielding a tattered authority they no longer merit.”

“The new way of associating already grows by leaps and bounds, in thousands of different ways. … Self-organisation tends to grow outside political parties and government sponsored institutions. Cash as the general expression of property is vanishing, being replaced by balances virtually reflecting alleged resource contribution and consumption. Virtual currency tends to break loose from the global banking system. Exchange tends to spread peer-to-peer, apart from market institutions. Trust rating of strangers built on recorded performance tends to move outside credit rating, as peer-to-peer feedback from self-organised interaction. Efforts at sustainable innovation tend to perforate bureaucratic inertia. The intimacy of emotional life tends to move out of the private sphere to enter global transparency. Centralised media production is tending to be submersed by self-produced information. In the Corona crisis, science has tended to round political corruption, publicly communicating the method of successive approximation to real life in real-time. Human self-organisation is obviously in a state of transcendence.

The fact that such divergences tend to end up in corrupted aberrations, so far, only testifies to these intuitively trickling development features of social mutiny still being too indistinct, irresolute, and mutually isolated. Social mutiny is yet only crawling. It is still lacking the balance, skill, constructive focus, and coordinated consciousness, needed to walk, and to resolutely head for its natural historic aim.”

The obstructive means of struggle, that once had provided the labour movement with force, have today lost their meaning. Construction – not obstruction – has become an absolute minimum in the third phase transition. For example, a general strike must immediately transcend into taking over direct resource control, to gain anything at all. When doing so, however, it might become the transformative pivot.

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