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A Love Letter From the End of the World by Saint

Zine version of this essay is available here 

The Apocalypse in Greek; simply means an unveiling. An unveiling of what was unseen and is now seen. Oftentimes apocalyptic writings come from religious and philosophical writers. Something that comes to my mind is in the Christian tradition in the book of Revelations where the writer tells of a vision he has that results in the end of the world. This idea of the Apocalypse in Christianity is tied to Jesus’s preachings of bringing God’s kingdom to Earth. This is something we see in Christian Cults all the time. Christian cults believe that the End of the World is here and they are the only ones that know how to survive it. The idea that everything is political is not a new one. Every aspect of our lives, even our crises, and ultimately the end of the World is political. I want to show how the Politics of the Apocalypse rules our lives; how anti-blackness, the state, and colonialism put us in a state of a constant Apocalypse, and one of the ways we can counteract this.

In some traditions such as the African concept of Zamani[1], Zamani frames time in such a way that the past can be accessed in the present just as much as the future can be actualized now. Similarly, a cyclical model of time is better suited to adapt to the ways our struggles are non-linear. This is of course in contrast to how we view time now which makes us believe there is a simple formula or sacred tradition that must be followed in exact sequence to make revolution. We must honor those that came before us not by idolizing them but by growing from their lessons and adding our own.  There are no beginnings or nor are there endings.

“ Those who have ears let them hear.” Apocalyptic Anarchism is a political framework or, rather, a lens to look at the world. If we look at the crisis that America is built upon and needs to function, then we can finally understand that neither asking for “our rights” nor demanding will get us what we want. We must take our liberation. Abolition is more than just creating a new world, it is tearing down the old one. This lens for looking at the world helps us make sense of the events that are happening around us. The apocalypse is continual as there is no perfect destination or some ultimate revolutionary point that we reach. I often notice this almost religious fervor reminds me of a lot of evangelicals in the so-called Leftist Movements and Scenes. They want abolition without the mess. They want us to reach a final goal where we can throw up our hands and say we are done!

The Left often reminds me of Christian cults that so often pop up and declare that they are the second coming of Christ or that it was revealed to them how to lead Earth into a new era. The issue is that no one is coming to save us. There is no Superman, there is no Vanguard and, most importantly, there is no State that will save us from the havoc Capital wreaks among our lives. I don’t want us to think that we have to wait for our Salvation. Much of the Left will have you believe that if we were to form Parties big enough that we might Seize the State, or that if we just get everyone to Follow the Party then everything will be perfect. Passivity will have us waiting for the perfect moment, leader, or clique to tell us what our survival instinct has been screaming all along: that we are in a crisis,  an apocalypse of epic proportions.  This type of leftist thinking is the same as the Evangelical doctrine of a Messiah coming to take up all the saints to a better far off place. With the Climate crisis, Pandemic(s), and multiple other disasters åthat are all happening at once, it is clear that there is no savior. Often evangelicals think that afterlife on this earth, we will go to a place called Heaven where there is no poverty, no class, no hunger, and so on. Too often I see communists with this same idea about revolution and abolition as if these are perfect ideas and not something that is continual. These ideas are not new and they will not act as complete or accurate roadmaps for world events we have yet to experience.They will have to be continually updated by new language that we uncover to more effectively describe our liberatory objectives. This continual process of uncovering new language will have to engage our embodied reality as well as our collective imagination as what we understand as Liberation evolves we realize that what this means to us is continually evolving in an eternal process for liberation. Words like revolution and abolition are not supposed to pencil you in but are an incomplete sketch of a map to show us where we are going because as of right now we can only dream of what liberation looks like. I believe that it is beyond any of our wildest imaginations. To me, the only way out of the predicament we find ourselves in is not prayers, leftist leaders, or good thoughts but the Continual Abolition of the World.

Abolition at its core is about how you participate in the community. Despite this, the term community has become this far away thing, a term we use to blanket sometimes real questions so that we can avoid hard conversations. What is the value of community when it is presented as justification for absolving abusers of any responsibility to change their harmful behavior or face consequences that make room for more safety and healing. How does it serve us to have legitimate questions about the forms of harm we encounter from people we are expected to identify with as “our” community? Community should not be an abstract ideal we hope to achieve one day or even something we put over our own immediate needs in an ongoing apocalypse. Participating in the community is all about having hard conversations and having questions that you sometimes don’t know the answer to. Abolitionists have missed this mark when it comes to survivors. What will we do with my abuser is a legitimate question, and although building networks of care is important we have to recognize that sometimes the community hides the abuser. We attach a label to these uncomfortable and painful experiences and that is often mistaken as an appropriate response for the actual material impacts these harms have on us.The failure to address the forms of violence that affect the intricacies of our lives is the very foundation upon which such crises are built.. It might be easy to say let love and community guide us and I believe this to a certain extent. But the word community is not a magical word that makes everything okay. Oftentimes we find harm in communities, even ones that say they will protect us. I often think of the folks in Black Hammer who either were coerced or led to believe in a community that would protect them and found nothing but harm and trauma. This same dynamic/process has happened in PSL, DSA, and many other big left orgs where patriarchy, racism, and white supremacy still rule. We must acknowledge this hurt and pain as what it is. Apocalyptic anarchism calls for imagination as there are traumas and hurts we do not yet have words for. Love and community are nice and this by no means is a call to forsake community and networks of care. What I am calling for is not a utopian concept but a look into what we really want right here and now.  We have to build communities where we are truly safe and this is a call to soberly look at reality and what we are facing.  

Apocalyptic Anarchism is in the spirit of Korryn Gaines which is to say Shooting Back.  Korryn Gaines was a mother in 2016 who was pulled over for an earlier traffic violation the officers tried to get her to go back to the station with them in but she refused to be kidnapped as she also had her son with her at the time. Upon seeing her gun after she told the officers of her refusal to go with them she was shot and killed, her 5-year-old was also shot although he survived which is saying nothing as he had to witness the murder of his own mother at the hands of the State. Apocalyptic Anarchism realizes the situation at hand and recognizes it for what it is: a crisis.  In Ferguson, amidst the tear gas and flames, someone Tagged a Quote from “ The Hunger Games”. The quote was “If we burn you burn with us” and while this might seem trivial to some I understand the sentiment. Growing up I was taught that if I got into a fight and I lost I better make sure that at least I took something of theirs. Meaning to say in a world with no justice sometimes the best option is revenge. Ferguson has shaped me and my politics meaning when in the face of those Oppressing me no matter what I am going to get mine even if I “burn”. We must strike at the heart of America as many times as we can because rest assured it wants to kill us and we must defend ourselves BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY and if we can’t have justice I say let’s have revenge.

Oftentimes I see people asking if this is the end of America. The thing with this empire is that capital expands and absorbs crisis because it is in fact built on crisis. Naomi Klein’s book Shock Doctrine goes over this in detail about Hurricane Katrina and the effect it had on Louisiana. There is no passive crumbling of empires and there never has been. An apocalypse requires active participation; it’s active destruction, not a reformation but total annihilation of what was before to lay the ground for what is now. The biggest example right now is the Pandemic, which can very obviously be described as an apocalypse of sorts. What was the end of the world to many was, for the rich, something to build on. There were many people who were saying, “now see? the empire is crumbling!” While this is true, we can never underestimate the way that whiteness is cannibalistic meaning that it will consume itself as capital expands when it has nothing else to consume. The Empire that we live in wants to extract our labor by any means necessary. Work and die is the state of Capital with people losing COVID pay and despite this, being required to Work even while testing positive for COVID.  The State thrives on this as it would have you Dead but at least Working healthy. During the Winter storm in Texas in 2021 the stocks of companies that profit off of electricity went up. The world was ending but yet people were getting richer. We can not lose sight that Apocalypses are active and they force us to see something that we either did not want to or up till a certain point had the power to avoid; an unveiling happens.  This is why I am drawn to the apocalypse; it forces me to see and confront myself and those around me. I, too, am forced to have my eyes opened. I’m confronted with the fact that this does not begin in some far place but that I too must pick up the Brick. I must End the World.        

Apocalyptic Anarchism is active destruction and a call for immediate action. There is no time to wait. We can testify with the Pandemic that not even a deadly airborne virus could get America to crumble and Ecological Collapse definitely won’t imperil empire. They will simply have us Work through it. We must understand that there will never be a perfect time to end this world. We do not have the luxury of passively waiting for a preordained opportunity. We must create our own opportunities to mortally wound the empire.

When people talk about decolonizing and dismantling white supremacy, what they are really asking for is the Abolition of the world. To destroy the world would mean a world without white supremacy and colonialism, the very things it was founded on. To me, Abolition and the apocalypse almost go hand in hand. We cannot fear the Apocalypse. We must move forward because Apocalypses are continual. We know not what the world is like without white supremacy, colonialism, and capitalism but we do know what it’s like to have our world continually ended. We have to ask ourselves do we just stop at asking for the Abolition of Prisons, the State, Capitalism. No, we have to End the World on our terms.

[1] Black Quantum Futurism: Theory & Practice