I find myself imagining a world where the oceans are acidic and “a writhing mass of unkillable tentacles” and the largest mammals in the forests and prairies are rodents, where humanity is compressed into a thawed tundra in the far north while Nebraska and Italy are as dry as the Sahara is now–but where humanity as a whole has embraced Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and exists in a fundamentally new way, everyone knowing that everyone else truly believes and wants to act on the idea that “the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.” Everyone knowing that everyone knows of the utter necessity of profound equality, everyone on the planet vigilantly seeking out and flattening any kind of unaccountable power that emerges, knowing that we are all at risk if any of us become dominated.
I look at what is going on nowadays and it reminds me of the Great Oxygenation Event, which was “probably the first major extinction event,” where the emergence of lifeforms of a new type, oxygen-producing lifeforms, disrupted all ecosystems on the planet by flooding the atmosphere with oxygen, which was poisonous to most life at the time.
It makes me sad to think of so many different forms of life dying, of so many entire ecosystems dying. But I also think of those human beings, in a world filled with squirrels, who truly live without fear of each other. And I don’t expect or want them to be miserable or embarrassed forever. I want them to be glad and flourish, in a way almost no one has flourished for thousands of years. And I think they will, if we make it.