GDP Is A Garbage Metric

It's just gross

Shaun Doyle and Mally Mallinson, Homo Tesco Metro, 2015

GDP is literally a garbage metric. The vast majority of consumer goods get binned within a year, 'durable' goods within years, and everything is garbage within evolutionary time. Everything we produce has some 'value' which gets written down as GDP, but, historically, this is just dead people's feelings about undead things. It's meaningless. All of the 'value' of GDP completely disappears into geological time. It's a fugazi. As they said in Wolf Of Wall Street, “Fugayzi, fugazi. It's a whazy. It's a woozie. It's fairy dust. It doesn't exist. It's never landed. It is no matter. It's not on the elemental chart. It's not fucking real.”

Biologically speaking, Gross Domestic Product is just a measure of how much industrial civilization shits where it eat. That's it, and that's not a good thing. Industrial shit isn't even digestible, it's toxic artificial shit that's impossible to process in evolutionary time. Everything this garbage civilization 'produces' becomes garbage, this constantly doubling waste chokes the 'domestic' environment, and it's all just 'gross'. That's all GDP is. Shitting where we eat, and being proud of how fast the pile is growing.

Unnatural Shit

We naturally recoil from our own shit, but one creature's shit is at least useful to some other lifeform. Aerobic lifeforms like us, for example, depend on oxygen, which was the toxic farts of a bygone time. Our natural shit is probably the most useful thing humans produce. It fertilizes, it feeds, it's part of the evolutionary recycling of resources that's been going on for aeons.

GDP, however, is on some other shit entirely. GDP is the endless accumulation of artificial shit which has temporary 'value' in our minds and then just becomes garbage and waste heat. This is all based on the 'economic' idea that resources come out of nowhere, that waste goes nowhere, and that we can just keep running this entropy engine forever, without consequences. Which is a lie. Everything has consequences, but if you can delay them long enough for the stock to go up, who gives a fuck, right?

We 'like' GDP because it (tangentially) meets our temporary wants and needs, but nature gives a fuck about our feelings! You 'enjoying' your toaster or vacation is completely irrelevant biologically. The market assigning it made-up value doesn't make it really valuable. At the end of every business cycle, all that's left is waste heat and resources which take forever to decompose. To make matters worse, we encase all our garbage in plastic bags and then bury it under even more waste, making it completely impossible for higher lifeforms to get to. Out of sight, out of our goddamn minds.

Who Smelt It Did NOT Dealt It

I'll zoom out a bit because it's essential. The higher problem here is higher lifeforms, the artificial species of corporate life that has been ravaging the planet since colonialism. We think we're the masters of capitalism but we're just cogs in the machine. Pets at best and slaves more commonly. Humans are just draught animals caught up in the belly of artificial life, thinking we're riding the beast. As I've discussed, humans are not the relevant species within Capitalism. It's right there in the name! Capitalism is the age of the genus Capital, species corporation, subspecies commodity.

Humans are just part of the digestive process of these artificial beings, like bacteria inside our own guts. We gut-sluts get resources to supply our own needs, but have no particular awareness and—at this point—no control over what our host is doing. Since colonialism, corporations have been running rampant all over the world—devouring resources, humans, animals—whatever it took to fuel its metabolic processes (what we call profit). Oil just fossil-fuelled this process, which was already quite destructive 'renewably'. The emissions we so worry about are just the butt-end of the problem, whereas the front-end is actually more destructive. God forbid our overlords find inexhaustible energy. They would completely exhaust resources in this solar system, and kill life wherever it found it. The energy is not the problem, it's the ecology, ie how artificial life connects to other beings, so as to 'balance' the system and keep it from (literally) overheating. The tragic fact is that the artificial special I call Capital has to learn this the hard way, just as its bacterial ancestors did. By crashing the whole planet.

The Great Oxygen Holocaust

The irony is that the 'fossils' which fuel our current collapse did the same thing 2,5 billion years ago, in reverse. We should have never disturbed their tombs, which are cursed. The first explosion of photosynthesis was dope (free energy from the sun!), but in just a short billion years or so, they crashed the whole planet.

The Great Oxygen Holocaust (never forget) happened when the oceans and the air simply could not handle all the oxygen waste these photosynths were dumping and finally crashed. The entire climate became freezing, down to the equator. They almost killed everyone, including themselves. Sound familiar?

Oxygen was like the 'GDP' of the age, which was absolute toxic waste to the anaerobic lifeforms at the time. Those previously dominant creatures were poisoned by oxygen. They had to retreat to deep sea vents and (later) up our butts, as literal old farts. But just like we don't really care about our living relatives, the new aerobes wouldn't have thought about their anaerobic ancestors much at all. Except there's only one planet, and we're all in the same 'boat'. The irony—which you can literally see in ancient rusted iron—is that the 'rise' of photosynthetic life quickly led to their own downfall.

A frozen Earth was uninhabitable for everyone, including themselves. Life as we know it barely survived. This was life's real Prometheus moment—stealing fire from the gods—and the gods were right to punish that fellow, it was a disaster! It took bacterial lifeforms millions of years to learn how to balance the thermostat, in the deeply connected cybernetic system we call 'the climate.' What we call climate is created and maintained by godlike creatures we disdain as pond scum and 'fossils'. We dug up their long-buried tombs at our peril and so here we are, in great peril. As Shirley Bassey said, it's just a little bit of pre-history repeating.

The Lesson

The lesson here is that new life produces new shit that old lifeforms cannot process. That's all that's happening here, with the artificial life we call corporations (among other names). Since the South Sea Bubble, they've simply been growing faster than the environment can handle, just like cyanobacteria (pond scum) billions of years ago. As my historical thesis goes, same shit, different day.

It is theoretically possible that humans could have controlled and guided this new species of Capital, but it didn't happen that way. If we had instated global communism last century or earlier we might have had a chance in hell, but now we're just on a literal highway to it. Since Capitalism became the dominant ideology, Capital became the dominant species (over the concept of human 'community') and it's simply too late now. The 'food' has been eaten and the shit has been shatten and we're just in it now.

The only way nature deals with such drastic change is a hard reset, turning the whole thing off and on again. This has happened many times before and this isn't even the first time life has nearly killed itself. Things are happening faster because we fucked around faster, but the process is the same. We are living through a mass extinction which has already ended for many species, has already begun for most of them, and which is already killing human animals, the 'weak' of the herd first. Whatever life that survives will have to learn how to balance the thermostat and recreate a stable climate. Whatever that climate is, it won't be this one. This climate done changed. The change is literally baked in. You can stick a fork in life as we know it. It's done.

The Grossness Of GDP

Going through these billions of years of history and billions of interactions, you can see how meagre and meaningless a metric GDP is. GDP is literally how one species of apes feels about stuff that doesn't even belong to them. Who gives a shit? It all ends up in a dump. Everything we (they) so assiduously produce and measure just ends up in the landfill or air and water as waste and we end up in the fire next time; the Great Oxygen Holocaust Part 2, the Great Carbonation. The emergence of artificial life has just ground the geological gears in reverse, roasting instead of freezing us.

We still think we're the gods in this scenario, but we just worship money, we're not made of it. Corporations are the new gods and—as the old gods of bacteria and pond scum could tell you—you have to kill your ancestors to really come up. Like the Greek Gods and the Titans. Or, how the modern Hindu trinity more gently replaced Indra and Agni and the Vedic gods. Compared to the machinations of the gods over aeons, what does GDP growth mean? Nothing. Certainly nothing good.

Indeed, as per the Silurian hypothesis, it is entirely possible that a similar industrial civilization already came and went millions of years ago. That's how little trace we actually leave, besides some skid marks of carbon and radioactivity in our geological underpants. That's all our vaunted GDP growth will be. Some thin line hundred-year lines in some core sample that an alien scientist will look over and say 'huh', before getting back to destroying his own civilization (he is a hypothetical scientist, after all). That's all GDP is. They say you get what you measure, and we literally measure garbage.