An Apparently Impossible Problem


This essay also appears in A Beautiful Resistance: Everything We Already Are

Extinction. Climate change. War. Dying oceans, dying forests. The earth shattered beneath us to get at the last bits of hydrocarbons and water. Food shortages. Refugees fleeing fighting, poverty, poison, religious feuds.

Capitalism and its physical manifestation—industrialisation—have so thoroughly transformed our environment, our social relations, our imaginations that the very idea of throwing off this system and having another—one where we humans live in community with everything else which shares this planet—seems to be an apparently impossible problem.

I know. I’m sorry.

But I also know something about apparently impossible problems. Mind if I tell you a story?

There was this moment with a lover of mine, a few winters ago. We’d gone together to get wax to make candles and the stuff for glühwein (German mulled wine), and we got stuck on a bus in…

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