• By Caitlin Johnstone

Future Generations, If There Are Future Generations


Future generations, if there are future generations, will scarce believe that our species once stockpiled armageddon weapons on purpose, once built our entire civilization around economic models that could only result in the destruction of our biosphere, once permitted corporations who profit from war to successfully lobby policymakers to start more wars, once warehoused living beings in factory farms where they were tortured and brutalized, once starved children to death with sanctions because their rulers disobeyed our rulers, once made policies which kept people poor so they’d be financially coerced into facilitating military mass murder, once let people go hungry and homeless if they didn’t have enough imaginary numbers in their bank accounts, once stripped this planet of biodiversity and old growth forests to turn the gears of an imaginary economy instead of collaborating with our ecosystem.


Future generations, if there are future generations, will look back in perplexity at our omnicidal madness, at our blind subservience to the very worst among us, at our remarkable ingenuity in always finding groundbreaking new ways to hate each other, at our fanatical devotion to competition and control when we knew that all we really wanted was to be loved, at the way we’d marginalize and outcast those who thought differently from the rest of us even though we knew full well that our way of thinking wasn’t working, at the way we’d spend our lives feeding insatiable hungry ghosts only to wind up on our deathbeds wondering why we feel dissatisfied, at the amount of energy we’d pour into not experiencing the beauty which surrounds us in every moment and rejecting the gifts we were being showered with from every direction, at the herculean effort we poured into keeping enlightenment from crashing in, at our nonstop desperate flailing attempts to be anywhere but here and now, at the amount of work we put into avoiding being at ease.


Future generations, if there are future generations, I am so glad that you made it past all the many obstacles we put up between our present age and your birth. Praise be to you and your parents for cleaning up our mess, for setting things right, for becoming conscious, for valuing a healthy world, for getting humanity to where you’re at now so that the real adventure of our species could begin.

Future generations, if there are future generations, thank you for your kindness and compassion as you gaze back on us through the records we have left you. It might not be immediately obvious, but some of us here saw what you’re seeing from there.


Note: An artist named Tonika Todorova has made a beautiful video with a reading of Future Generations (If There Are Future Generations) for her platform Visceral Adventure.

Caitlin Johnstone is an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz. Her collection of poems is entitled Poems for Rebels.

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