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!

No comments: