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.

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