Friday, November 11, 2011

simple phrases and parables

Ponds and oceans

For freedom and nature lovers.

Simple proverbs and phrases intended as

broad hints and insights for the rebellious.


The dispossessed will occupy land for habitats.

Cities are not habitats.

Adapt to nature.

The people of the land are our elders.

Nature has no political boundaries.

Industrialism kills habitats.

Industrial production must be permanently dismantled.

The village can learn from the traveler.

Our minds are not separate from our bodies. Mind is matter.

Habitats create us as we create them.

Defend your habitat.


Withdraw to organize.

Withdrawing is attacking.

Withdraw to experience communal subsistence.

Insurgency and withdrawal coexist.

Withdraw to train.

Withdraw to heal.

Withdraw to occupy.

Withdraw now to attack later.

Refusing to participate is an act of sabotage.

The state will use violence to enforce reintegration and assimilation of group withdrawal.

Pursue collective experiments in living.


Free individuals cluster together organically.

Secessionist regions and enclaves can experiment with anarchy.

Kinship ties facilitate anarchy.

Anarchy will bury anarchism.

The ungoverned individual is the basis of anarchy.

Decentralisation prevents new states from emerging.

Desire for the inherent benefits of harmony and successful subsistence activity encourages efforts to create pleasurable coexistence.

Federations can break away from the nation state.

Anarchy is a fight for experimentation in living.

Freedom is a set of social relationships.

Peace is achieved through the revolutionary abolition of nation states.

Replace statist laws with agreements between free people.

The group is stronger within a federation.

The anarchist federation is an organic body.

The organic decays and disappears to make room for renewal.

The artist experiments. The anarchist destroys. The animal embodies sensual knowledge.

The federation is a weapon of insurgency.


Global revolution cannot be planned but local secession can.

Organic self-organization can precede secession from the nation-state.

Seceding from the nation-state makes room for organic self-organization.

Authentic revolution creates authentic human bonds.

All politicians are obstacles to revolution.

Revolution is organically self-organized.

Revolution is complete renewal.

Complete renewal requires an organic dimension.

Federations of communes can break away from the nation state.

Occupation sites federate.

Allies federate. Ponds become an ocean.

Revolutionary foresight creates revolutionary futures.

Urban ways

Abandon cities in groups.

Atomization is the chain that binds us.

Uprisings must destroy the relationships called city.

Without destroying the city, complete renewal will fail.

The city is an authoritarian institution.

Numeracy and literacy are urban technologies.

Temporary gatherings of thousands of people are not cities.

Technology can’t solve social problems.

Using technology is not a consensual activity.

A collection of villages is not a city.

Urban civilization is a necessary condition for capitalist civilization.

Coercive hierarchy is a necessary condition for urban civilization.

Agriculture makes urban civilization possible.

The destruction of capitalism will include the destruction of urban ways.

The rural will be buried alongside the urban.

Resist atomization.

Martial traditions

Communes defend themselves.

Animals don’t have hospitals.

The women make the machetes.

Even fragile, peaceful snowflakes acting together can sometimes quietly suffocate the dominant reality.

Some will die.

No one can see the whole mountain.

Beneath the surface, the roots live in darkness.

The state prevents the emergence of federations with violence.

Martial skills can defeat military ones.

During unrest the state will use police or rebels as human sacrifices, the first to justify law and order, the second to reassure the bourgeoisie.

Act as a group without appearing to be a group.

Insurrectional events should threaten the bosses of the dominant reality.

Without risk we fail.

A community of resistance has an arsenal.

Makhno, Durruti, Pontiac, Geronimo, Gabriel Dumont, Zapata, Crazy Horse.

Collective fury is the invisible weapon of the disarmed.

You’re only disarmed if you think you are.

A mutual shaping of ideas and action begins before genuine revolt and continues during it.


Capitalism is a violent crisis.

No roles or identities created for capitalist civilization are worth preserving.

Capitalism is a river of blood.

Capitalist civilization stunts its populace.

The market is the world’s imperial master.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cities or villages?


Cities are not habitats. City folk can, indeed must, participate in a momentum against urban living because city ways are one of the roots of our predicament and it is city inhabitants who will suffer the most in the coming years. Millions of people obviously can’t move out to the countryside or the wilderness tomorrow morning. If you can’t bring the village to the mountain, then bring the mountain to the village. This might be part of a solution. Bring some wilderness to the city. Cities must be de-citified. It will take insurgent imagination and imaginative insurgencies. Cities can become partly abandoned, partly re-created into a collection of autonomous villages separated by vast tracts of gardens and re-emerging forests, the whole region healed by becoming a sort of vast permaculture zone. Paradise paved need not be permanent.

What seems insurmountable often isn’t in reality. There is an urbanizing trend spreading across the continents, it is proletarianizing our brothers and sisters, threatening our fellow creatures, it is polluting and exploitative and unsustainable.

Cities don’t end where the suburbs dissipate into farmland. Rural living presently is but the flip side of the same coin of capitalist civilization. Rural people also work and shop and pay rent or mortgages and live out atomized lives. The air is cleaner and at least one might spot a deer and watch the stars at night, but private property, work and cops also control the countryside. There too habitats are invaded, plundered, polluted. Country folk are also incarcerated, carcinogized, monitored and punished. Our destruction of urban life entails the destruction of rural life. The goal is a geography where villages and clans and groups of friends dominate the social landscape, not vast tracts of farmland that feed cities or country estates that the privileged and lucky retreat to. The goal is healthy habitats, the creation of healthy environments and the healing of sick ones that can sustain all the life forms that live within them.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

a place for everyone, continued

Of course this assumes that no one wants to be a commodity, that wage labor is viewed for the slavery that it is. It assumes that we are all tired of being ruled.
There is room for wandering lone wolves, nomadic families and hobo tribes as long as free villages and liberated zones aren’t viewed as mini welfare states for them to depend on.

The coming long emergency, when the oil runs out and the food stores are empty, will leave most of us profoundly unprepared. Do you know how to grow or gather food? Do any of your neighbors? I don’t mean a weekend garden, but enough to sustain you and your extended family over a winter. When the capitalist market collapses, and the stores have all been looted, what will you eat? Do you have seeds, a fishing rod or a hunting weapon? Do you know how to use any of these? Is there a place unpolluted enough that you could go to for food?
Are you part of a tribe, a community or a clan? Are you woven tightly enough into any social group that would be willing to help each other out in a time of crisis, or are you an atomized individual whose social group consists mostly of your immediate family, with a few friends you see occasionally at work or at play?
The vast majority of Europeans and North Americans, and of urban dwellers everywhere, are just like you. They have no seeds, no survival skills and no fishing rod or hunting weapon, belong to no genuine community, haven’t a garden or access to an unpolluted place from which they can gather food or medicine. You aren’t alone, at least in your predicament.
One doesn't always have the option of joining in social upheaval, most often you have to take responsibility and help create it. This isn’t as difficult as you might think at first. It involves taking time away from work. It means saying hello to a stranger. It asks you to stay away from Disneyland. Where possible it involves exploring the wilderness and countryside closest to you. Revolt requires being optimistic in the face of the nearly insurmountable. It means viewing privacy not as something to preserve and protect, but to unburden oneself from. It demands that you spend more time with children, not only yours, but children in general. It requires you to imagine a world without wage-labor, politicians, commodities, banks, mortgages, factories, automobiles, nuclear energy, chemical fertilizers, polluted rivers, depleted ozone layers, global corporations, prisons, police, toxic waste, morality, aristocracies, taxes, money, sweatshops, governments, imperial armies and widespread coercion.
Sadly there are no guarantees. Self delusion is everywhere. Good intentions don't prevent us from reproducing the Old World.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

a place for everyone

Any authentic anti-authoritarian resistance should be an offer. An open offer to all who cherish freedom, sharing, giving, healthy habitats, mutual aid, cooperation and voluntary association. It isn’t just for the ultra exploited or the severely marginalized. It isn’t open only to the excluded or the imprisoned or the hungry and poor. But it listens carefully to all these voices because they know firsthand of the most brutal hardships authoritarian systems impose on their inhabitants.
It doesn’t scapegoat anyone because of their genital morphology. It doesn’t point self-righteous fingers at skin tones or linguistic groups. It doesn’t exclude some because of their place of birth on the social ladder. It isn’t a circus of victim-politicians and morality. It doesn’t spend all its time blaming. It has a low tolerance for judgment, guilt and shame as weapons and tools. We are all in this mess together, and we should make room for all of us to contribute meaningfully to a way out. Our solidarity is an invitation to all. But History has created identities marked by privilege for some, victimization and powerlessness for others, and the rebellions are determined to free everyone from these chains. In the meantime there can be no place for those who want power, who want to control others.
An anarchic rebellion aimed at healthy habitats and free, unique individuals embedded in authentic communities makes room for the old and the frail, for the young and the strong, for the impatient and the patient, for those who are repulsed by violence and those who view its use as another weapon in our arsenal. Morality and dichotomous world views cannot choke it, because it is an organic, site specific impetus. Each region, each town, neighborhood, affinity-culture or tribe can base its secession from the nation-state on their own desires, tenets and dreams.
Starting from a circle of friends – or a neighborhood, an eco-village, an island, a commune, an ethnic group, part of a city, a city, a region, a clan, a reserve, a cult - its ultimate aim is always access to territory from which the group can sustain itself. This means that it always seeks access to land.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Think sabotage, subsistence and subversion.

It would be delusional for a group of comrades or neighbors or friends to think that they can simply decide to end the social relations that result from a ten thousand year reign of enslavement, domestication and power over others. Capitalism can't be overthrown by the activities of a small group of radicals. However, there is no megalomania in considering critically the possibility of initiating and participating in a local, organically self-organized thrust aimed at freeing the place where they live from the selfish, myopic bullies that enforce injustice, ecological plunder and exploitation. And this process could be healing, because it would likely create the space and the possibility for better relations between us and these new relations would in turn create the possibility for a complete rupture with the current reality of sickness and domination.
Yet, it isn’t just an economic class and their henchmen and police that need to be confronted/ignored, but the values that permeate authoritarian societies generally. In other words, each of us must also wage an internal struggle and in the process free ourselves and help create an atmosphere that supports others doing the same.

Life consists of spectrums and organic patterns, not engineered grids, predictable patterns and axioms. Those are the ways of the civilized, of the domesticated, of the kept. No person or world view or ideology has all the answers. By trusting our instincts and our desires, new possibilities will open. We can make public what Power wants to keep private: our dreams, our visions, our unhappiness and our anger.

The thousand-mile journey begins with the first step. An old truth.

Authoritarian civilization is founded on our systematic self-enslavement and self-exploitation. Humans are at the helm, our fathers, brothers, sisters and mothers are at the helm. Almost every one of us contributes to reproducing this planetary authoritarian, destructive, unjust, oppressive and unimaginative world. One persistent mutiny on this global slave ship called civilization could open all the doors. Any generation can change the world. But one generation must soon, because there may not be a future one healthy enough to do it. This transformation would create the possibility of authentic, intense lives lived in genuine, autonomous communities embedded in healthy habitats.

Having a healthy habitat in which to live offers the possibility of having a sense of place. A sense of place in turn offers the opportunity for rediscovering the very human feelings and experiences of awe, reverence and wonder.

The simple proposal is this: a widespread insurgency, based on a multitude of local rebellions, each one demanding enough land to sustain its inhabitants. More specifically, occupying or re-occupying territory with the explicit view that it becomes our habitat. And these withdrawals, while ends in themselves, as far as flourishing under adversarial conditions goes, are also only a means to a much greater vision. We withdraw to build strength, to succeed for ourselves but also in order to offer assistance to other revolutionary projects and attempts, to intertwine our liberated spaces with the struggles of others who want to make a final break with global institutions of domination.

Yes, we have much anger and rage toward the class of rulers, yes we are inspired by expressions of hatred and destruction aimed at the bullies who organize society. But here I suggest that we emphasize, among ourselves, fraternity and cooperation. This proposal is about intent, about not waiting for the right conditions, about consciously taking advantage of the cracks and fissures in the dominant reality, prying them open, creating space for ourselves. It is from many of these free camps that capitalism might potentially be attacked and destroyed as they join with others for whom life under the civilized order is unbearable.

In the long term, acquiring a home, a habitat, is essential. This means freeing up colonized land, rehabilitating plundered land or seizing land. In the short term it might mean rent strikes or squatting or tax refusal. It could involve wilderness camps, fishing shacks, shared berry patches, collective harvesting of wild foods and group gardening and permaculture, etc. Learning from and being in solidarity with people of the land, elders and traditionalists among indigenous people for instance, who may live nearby, might be a priority. It seems obvious that acquiring food in groups, sharing food among many, are possible foundation stones. From every angle, a land base becomes essential.

Urban ways demand a hierarchical infrastructure, impersonal institutions, sacrifice zones to feed them, etc. We want to get together with others and create space, make genuine imaginative lives, defend our anarchic ways and the habitats they depend on. In a small but significant way it is a proposal to take the initiative, because we can’t win if we are always on the defensive.
These organically self-organized subsistence movements are autonomous but linked, small but many, local but together spread out and therefore occupy great amounts of territory. They don’t want new popes or Lenins, better governments or better representation, new countries or new republics. They aim for a world of clans, tribes and villages, freedom and community. These secessionist movements want healthy habitats for all life.
This strategy doesn’t aim for a mass movement, but for a momentum of local rebellions.
This momentum offers to sweep up everyone who allows it to carry them to a New World. There are no books necessary to read, no leaders to follow, no traditions or jargon or vocabulary to adopt. You don’t have to live in the country or in the city. It is homegrown, like a euphoric weed that grows everywhere and spreads easily. It is against the laws of the unjust, the arrogant and the elite, the powerful, the intolerant and the unimaginative. It is strengthened by critical observation. It has no room for cops. It is intuition and rationality hand in hand. This momentum would be courageous and celebratory. A momentum in which cunning, stealth, humor, courage, bravery, wildness, love, nurturing, play, community, individuality, autonomy, sensuality, sensual wisdom, would all be encouraged. It would succeed by a strategy of persistent autonomous activity by people without labels.

It promises to be an incredible voyage and you are invited!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

freebellions part three

The endless stream of ecological and social catastrophes wrought by authoritarian civilization can be stopped. When you’re in a battle you don’t have many choices: continue to fight, surrender or retreat and regroup. It would probably be wise to honor all the paths that can take us to an oasis, that offer us euphoria, that refuse coercive authority and exploitation, that will help end our rule by a Humorless and Unimaginative ruling ideology. If we exclude surrendering, what’s left?

Fighting includes riots, sabotage, insurrections and other forms of self-organized revolt. Some may be spontaneous, like waves that seem to swell up suddenly wherever you live that you can participate in. Others might involve instigation and intent like blockades and occupations.

We can withdraw, drop out, encourage absenteeism, stop participating, refuse various forms of conscription. We can regroup, build trust, come to some agreements, and then lay some plans. We’ve been barely escaping with our lives, but we can do more.

We can also plant seeds for the future. This sometimes involves making attempts at creating a different world here and now. Other times it means acquiring skills and tools that may be useful for sustenance should a cataclysm turn the world upside down. This would help ensure that the Old World doesn’t immediately return, preventing genuine New Ones from taking hold. It often prioritizes withdrawal over direct attacks. Deskooling, growing your own food, hunting and fishing, permaculture, studying, learning convivial skills, temporary autonomous zones, pirate radios, ‘zines, gatherings, shared child rearing are just some examples of this approach.

Finally we can share our world views, put alternative perspectives in the public arena for debate.
There is no strategy that guarantees that we can realize a more just and authentic world, a world without commodities or money, without states or wage labor, without prisons and politicians. In fact, the most we can likely hope to intentionally accomplish is to free, temporarily or permanently, our home, the place where we live, of these institutions and ways and values. Of course we want our rebellions to be global because our adversary is global, yet we must avoid being paralyzed by an attitude that views all local attempts and activity as marginal and ineffective.

One thing for sure, waiting, either for ecological or economic collapse, for global rebellion or local insurrection, for objective conditions, shouldn’t be the main choice. We can change the world because we can change our world, the place where each of us lives.

Monday, May 19, 2008

freebellions - part 2

Many people now assume that a pitiless chaos is on the horizon. A chaos birthed and driven by a social system based on hierarchy and exploitation. Our fragile biosphere is sick. Its health is deteriorating fast. The symptoms are desertification, global warming, diminishing sunlight, widespread cancer, mass extinction, etc. Our planet is obviously in peril. This crisis has been caused by the urban ways of industrial capitalism and by centralized authority. It is maintained by our belief in ideologies. Our way out is to collectively de-massify, de-industrialize and de-commodify. We can feed and shelter ourselves without governments, without markets and private property and the Way of Seeing that these institutions and means are rooted in. It is to create our habitats as we are simultaneously created by them, thus reestablishing a healthy relationship with our environment.
Unfortunately every crisis is compounded by the existence of yet other crises on our horizon: nuclear waste waiting to sit up like a corpse and spread its death, the ongoing possibility of nuclear war, the disappearance of the protective ozone layer, complete ecological meltdown, global illness by new viral strains. The warning lights are blinking wildly, the alarms are getting louder, the elders are warning us; it’s urgent. Our future is shrinking.
Is resistance futile? No. Is all intentional action reactive? No. Will there always be seeds of the old world in the revolt for the new? Perhaps, but a genuine rebellion won’t be fertile ground for them to get established. Liberating cities, towns, islands and regions from mass, authoritarian civilization is possible. We are all potential agents of change. By emphasizing local resistance, our strengths become more obvious and defeatism wanes.

This isn’t to say that mass upheaval doesn’t happen, we know this would be untrue, it is to say that a small group can’t simply decide to create them. They are born of external conditions and uncontrollable variables. These ruptures, as a strategy, find their basis in waiting, and I’m exploring willful ruptures among friends, neighbors and comrades.

Where do rebellions originate? They originate where people spend a lot of time together and therefore know each other enough to have shared their misery and their desires, to have built some trust: ghettos, neighborhoods, prisons, reservations, along tribal or kinship lines.
Of course any individual who wants to make a break, who wants to live an intense life can. This is making one’s life a cause sufficient unto itself. These folks can inspire others, can implicitly give others permission to stand up and shine and flourish, but everything is left to chance as far as a conscious strategy is concerned. At least when such individuals are embedded somewhere, are surrounded by friends and neighbors with whom they have tried to have real relationships, the virus can take hold, the contagion can spread. If they are embedded only in a milieu, then the infection will likely be contained by its extremely narrow demographic limits. In general, subcultures, tendencies and milieus consist primarily of mobile participants with shallow roots and thus will never be the basis for anything other than short-term, limited expressions of rebellion: demonstrations, zines, internet forums, discussion groups, conferences. Occasionally these radical elements can intervene in a genuine opposition, one that they themselves did not instigate, in order to expose and confront its directors and representatives. But again, I’m exploring the possibilities for collective, conscious refusal that has some long term potential.