THERE ARE NO NATURAL CATASTROPHES
(This is based on a text written by anonymous anti-authoritarians at the time of a major flood in Italy)
More than twenty dead, about ten missing, 40,000 evacuated. And hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. As if it had not been raindrops, but bombs falling on their heads. As if it had not been a flood, but a war, devastating their homes. In fact this was so. But the enemy that struck so harshly was not the river or the mountain. These are not, in fact, weapons of vengeance for a nature that we are accustomed to thin of as hostile. The war that has been going on for centuries now is not between humanity and the natural environment as so many would like to have us believe in order to guarantee our obedience. Our enemy is our own activity. That is the war. This civilization is the war. Nature is simple its principle battlefield. We caused these powerful downpours by transforming the atmospheric climate with our industrial activity. Our activity has eroded the embankments of the rivers, trashing their beds and deforesting their shores. We have made bridges collapse by building them with defective materials chosen in order to win the contract. We have devastated entire villages by building houses in high-risk areas. We have bred jackals who look for profit in every situation. We have neglected to take precaution measures against such events, being only concerned with opening new sports arenas, shopping malls and metro and rail lines.
And how are we responsible? We have allowed all this to happen repeatedly, delegating the decisions that effect our lives to others. And now, after having devastated the entire planet in order to move faster, eat faster, work faster, make money faster, watch TV faster and "live" faster, do we still dare to complain when we discover we also die faster?
There are no natural catastrophes, only social catastrophes. If we don't want to continue to be victims of unpredictable earthquakes, exceptional floods, unknown viruses and whatever else, our only choice is to act against our enemy: our way of life, our values, our habits, our culture, our indifference. It is not against nature that we so urgently need to declare war, but against this society and all its institutions. If we are not able to invent a different existence and fight to realize it, we are preparing ourselves to die in that which others have decided and imposed. And to die in silence, just as we have always lived.Back to the Venomous Butterfly page