We can clearly see a chain of causality between the decision of the Trump administration to gut Obama-era safety measures that were themselves watered down and then never reinstated by the Biden administration while stopping a strike in which these very concerns were raised.
It is not conspiratorial thinking to look at all of this and think “Someone is benefiting from this!”
It is a natural outgrowth of profit at any cost. Safety measures and routine maintenance are routinely ignored or slashed to the barest minimum so profit soars. Norfolk Southern has made money in the billions of dollars in profit, a feat that most people will never get within a fraction of inside of their own lifetime, or indeed, in several lifetimes. This is intergenerational warfare by the worst actors in our human communities. These communities, mind you, most of these people will never visit, and if they do, will give the thinnest of lip service to.
This is the poisoning and provisioning, the colonization of the earth, sea, sky, and all that lies beneath them for the sake of numbers going up in someone’s portfolio. When the philosophical question of “To what end?” is asked, then folks look, wild-eyed, as though the person in question has proposed the end of the world. Which, in effect, is precisely what is being instigated by such questions. It puts to question that such a paradigm has any right to exist. That its reach is so devastating, so powerful, so crushing, that it has the ability to outright kill the ability of the land, the sea, and the sky to support life, and all in service to something so banal as to make someone’s stock prices rise, someone makes a little bit more money.
When the question “To what end?” is asked, it holds “Why?” within it.
Why are we working so damned hard when we have the ability to automate so much labor? Why are we working harder than generations before us and seeing none of the benefits? Why are we unable to afford food, clothing, shelter, the very basics that allow life to be lived, and further, the things that make life worth living? Why is healthcare, comprehensively including physical, mental, dental, eye, and any other aspect that affects our wellbeing, paywalled when we have the technology and means to provide it?
When these questions are interrogated it ends with the grim determination that the system has been uniquely arranged so a few benefit while the massive amounts of humanity have to work to afford to put food in their mouths, clothes on their backs, shelter over their heads, and beds to sleep on. It speaks directly to the inherent injustice in a system that requires everything of a person and gives just enough to keep them alive, at least, to a certain point. It points to the arrangement of white supremacist ideology as a hoodwink to use those deemed white to keep the other people in line, lest they unite and fight the systems together. It points to the arrangement of antisemitism, transphobia, homophobia, and others forms of extreme hate in this same bargain. You cannot ask why the system exists if you’re actively killing would-be allies because your inculcated ideology demands it. You cannot ask why when you have never been taught how to ask the very question of “Why?”
There is no good point to capitalism. There is no good point to the rampant destruction of nature, and us, who are part of it. There is no good to be had here when the result is our waters are unfit to drink or swim in, when our air is choked, when our lands are poisoned and cannot bear animals, insects, or plants. Capitalism itself is at odds with our future.
So, we do what we can, even as this system rages around us in its death throes working to be something better. To be better Ancestors. To live better with Jörð. To live well with our loved ones, our kin, our clan, our tribes, our communities, our descendants, and leave something better than we started with. We do what we are able, as we can, where we can. We live our best in goood Gebo with one another, with the Ginnreginn, and do our best tomorrow. Take hope from Ragnarök. Yggdrasil burns, yes, and yet, Líf and Lífþrasir emerge in life. The Ginnreginn survive and thrive after the Fire. The Worlds live on. Another, better cycle is possible. We may make it so. Let us weave and grow this new pattern in Urðr together with our Ginnreginn, and with each other.