Volatility

January 13, 2014

Climate Change, “Green Capitalism”, and Abolitionism

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It’s long been obvious to me that Western governments will never mitigate one iota of GHG emissions, nor will global corporatism as a whole. They’re going to burn every BTU worth of fossil fuel they can extract. That’s a done deal. Nor is anyone within the system interested in any kind of adaptation. For both mitigation and adaptation, all we have are scams. As with everything else, these are most pronounced in the agricultural sector.
 
That stands to reason. Taken as a whole industrial agriculture is the worst driver of climate change, since it’s the #1 GHG emitter and the worst destroyer of carbon sinks.
 
That’s why the one and only answer, here as with every other issue, for both mitigation and adaptation, is to abolish corporate agriculture and transform to agroecology on a food sovereignty basis. This is what’s necessary, and only this will be sufficient. Strategy and tactics have to be geared to meet this objective, with no other prejudice. Everything else is a fraud. This piece gives a good overview of the “green capitalism” scam. It’s hard to believe anyone was ever naive enough to think capitalism, which must continue to expand, violate, and subjugate in order to exist, could ever be reconciled with environmentalism. On the contrary, all this was an earlier version of what with GMOs is called the “coexistence” scam.
 
The Truthout piece is good in skewering all these frauds. As for its prescriptions, it’s not wrong, but it’s still mired in the whole “socialism vs. capitalism” ideological morass, not to mention that it has a scarcity-based mentality and rhetoric. None of that’s going to fly. People are sick of obsolete ideology, and to tell people that we face scarcity is likely to make them more conservative. By “conservative” I’m referring to temperament and unwillingness to rock the boat. That’s why GMO labeling campaigns fail.
 
But the fact is that this is a world of abundance, and we can have broad-based, democratic abundance if we break the corporate stranglehold. I would like to recast all conceptions of scarcity, even the ones which are actually physically based, as political bottlenecks caused by corporatism. It’s certainly true that corporations directly cause or badly aggravate every problem humanity faces. Which leads to the political program: A movement dedicated to abolishing corporations and corporatism. It has a clear goal, rather than the intentional vagueness of past ideologies, and I think it offers lots of opportunities to drive political wedges, to slash through all the obsolete, by now tribal dichotomies which no longer reflect any kind of reality, but are on the contrary a misdirection and escape from reality – “left vs. right”, “liberal vs. conservative”, “Republican vs. Democrat”, etc.
 
As for the measly notion of carbon taxes, command-and-control, etc., there’s no chance of mustering anyone to fight for that. It’s too picayune a goal, and yet to win a such a temporary victory would take just as hard a fight as to wipe out the enemy once and for all. That goal’s not going to stir the soul, fire the imagination, set people in motion driven by an inner flame. But a movement which sets great goals could possibly do this.

 
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19 Comments

  1. I agree that food sovereignty is key, and that means breaking out of rigid ways of thinking. It should be noted, however, that scarcity is in fact a problem in many parts of the world. Water scarcity, for example, which is exacerbated by climate change, poses huge challenges. The reactions that people might have when confronted with these types of facts are irrelevant to the truth of the matter.

    What I really wanted to say, though, is that the problem with this system goes way deeper than corporatism. The core issue is the ideology that presupposes humans’ inherent right not only to dominate nature but to exploit it. When we deny our interdependence and our interconnectedness with nature, this instantly makes it possible to ignore externalities. The displacement of tribal communities, the poisoning of drinking water and the polluting of the air are never factored into the stock prices of minerals or oil and gas shares. The financial system is set up to reward this destruction. When we accept the ideology that there is a hierarchy to life, dehumanizing certain groups of people whose land we want to exploit, and reducing natural resources to commodities, is a natural outcome. State-owned corporations aren’t immune to this problem, even though they represent common ownership and control of resources, as opposed to private. Again, unless we recognize interdependence and interconnectedness, we are doomed to repeat the same mistake in many different ways.

    Comment by Lavender Blume — January 13, 2014 @ 4:59 pm

    • “[T]he ideology that presupposes humans’ inherent right not only to dominate nature but to exploit it” is merely a subset of an ideology that presupposes a tiny minority of human beings have the inherent right to dominate and expolit all of humanity. This tiny minority is right to presuppose its right to dominate and exploit nature because, through the corporate form and other similar legalistic mechanisms, it is able to shift all costs of doing so to the rest of humanity and the rest of nature. The fact that they believe this to be so is implied by the design of the system itself.

      “Again, unless we recognize interdependence and interconnectedness, we are doomed to repeat the same mistake in many different ways.” This seems like non sequitur, but maybe you and Russ have been having a conversation elsewhere. In context, you seem to be assuming that Russ would otherwise be okay with a state-owned corporation doing what private corporations currently do, and I am pretty sure that is not the case.

      Comment by Tao Jonesing — January 13, 2014 @ 6:31 pm

    • For sure, the problem is the spiritual and moral desolation of industrial/technological civilization, and that will require a spiritual renaissance. I don’t know yet what form that will take, although I point in the direction of food sovereignty and the truly organic philosophy (using that term in the original Howard/Rodale sense, not the attenuated and corrupted “certified” version).

      But for now I just think about how to help get the movement going in the first place, and I’m convinced that it requires a clear, discrete goal; and it’s clear that corporatism is the overwhelming form of power and evil in the world today.

      Meanwhile the poison onslaught, and the general dependency upon the frail hothouse flower of industrial agriculture, is a clear and present danger to humanity’s physical survival. So there’s also no time to lose in organizing for action.

      For those four reasons I’m a GMO abolitionist, and more broadly a corporate abolitionist, and I focus on the goal rather than the malaise.

      Therefore, the goal of these research notes, and the larger literary projects which will arise from them, is to help gather the knowledge and formulate an abolition movement ideology and organizational philosophy.

      Comment by Russ — January 14, 2014 @ 12:59 am

  2. Russ,

    Jesse had a good Chris Hedges piece up about the falsity of left v. right.

    http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2014/01/chris-hedges-false-left-right-paradigm.html

    This led to me discovering a couple of other good videos from Chomsky, the first about the corporatization of the university, the second (with Glenn Greenwald) about how the law is used to destroy equality and protect the elites:


    Regarding abolition of the corporate form, it seems to me that the rhetoric of personal responsibility provides a good avenue towards accomplishing that. I may write a piece developing that thought further.

    Regarding all the supposed fixes (e.g., carbon taxes), see Mirowski’s Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste, which argues that such “solutions” are just delaying tactics meant to paralyze and prevent any real action. http://www.amazon.com/Never-Serious-Crisis-Waste-Neoliberalism-ebook/dp/B00D0O7KPQ/ref=la_B001IXO1OO_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389654730&sr=1-1

    Comment by Tao Jonesing — January 13, 2014 @ 6:14 pm

    • Thanks for the leads, Tao. I’ll check those out. I agree that it can be a potent argument to stress how the point of corporations is to let some people run risks and commit crimes without having responsibility for either. De jure, the corporate form separates the financial risk from the person taking an action. In practice, corporate welfare and bailouts not only absolve all risk but guarantee profits. (Which is necessary for “profit” to continue to exist at all for these oligopoly sectors.)

      Those worthy-sounding but, in this political and economic context, impossible kinds of reforms are things which don’t and can’t seriously exist, as policies or as the movements to attain them. (The very fact that something like the Green Party hasn’t seriously tried to organize itself along those lines is proof of the latter.) Rather, only the idea of them is supposed to exist, like you said in order to keep the more adventurous advocates within the bounds of system reformism. It’s one of the forms of fenceline patrolling, to keep activism bound within rather than to drive out, keep away, and destroy an enemy.

      How truly impossible something is may vary from sector to sector, I suppose. It’s still amazing to me that a no-brainer like Single Payer, which would be an easy win-win for the people, is impossible for the people to organize to get. But that seems to be the case. But any kind of real system action to mitigate GHG emissions, which would indeed hit people’s pocketbooks, is something they’ll never seriously try to do.

      In all this I’m talking about Americans supposedly becoming politically active, but doing so within the existing consumerist framework. In the Labelphobia piece I linked above, I argued why I think this can never work.

      That’s why I argue that we need to build a movement culture which transforms the whole mentality of its members and activists, and which constantly transmits the ideas and living example of this transformation to the public at large. That’s so when a great crisis comes, and large numbers of people are ready to cast away the past and make some big change, they’ll have an alternative ready-made for them. Meanwhile part of the task of this movement would be to organizationally prepare itself for such an opportunity.

      Comment by Russ — January 14, 2014 @ 1:18 am

  3. We definitely need to abolish dreadfully efficient corporate farms, which utilize only about 2% of the U.S. population as workers in favor of a more sovereign system that brings something more like 98% of the American people back in intimate touch with the earth! A true agrarian movement is what is needed and stoop labor never really hurt anyone. But how will we overcome the objections, the ridicule, the shirking? Such a movement has never before succeeded. The wise Pol Pot bravely converted Cambodia into what should have become the ultimate agrarian panacea but near as he came to perfection his visionary efforts were cut short by brutish global industrialists who frowned on his teaching technique. Even the Chinese are industrializing their agriculture. How can we ever prevail here in the U.S?

    Comment by Meredith — January 14, 2014 @ 10:32 am

    • The people aren’t inherently stupid or depraved, but by now they’re atomized and have long been mired in a stupid, depraved inertia. That’s why by now I regard it as axiomatic that those who are still “consumers” will never rouse themselves to undertake even the most modest structural changes. (To believe in the sufficiency of voting is part of consumerism.)

      Therefore, I don’t see strategy in terms of trying to build a mass movement right off the bat, let alone a political party to run political candidates. That kind of laziness and impatience, the demand for instant gratification, so typical not just of “progressives” but even of many who fancy themselves radicals, is part of the same consumerist pathology.

      For now we need to start an organization with whoever cares deeply, wants to fight, and is willing to commit to disciplined reporting, analytical, and publicity work, plus whatever activism the members wish to undertake. Even if it’s just a few people at first, once that nucleus exists, it’ll be a constant beacon, and a constant example for others to form similar organizations.

      Eventually the thing will cohere as a real movement, a presence in the public consciousness, and as it grows it’ll be able to take on more tasks, more aggressively. At some point, once it has a firm and disciplined enough movement culture, it might be able to organize politically. It can seek to elect monkeywrenchers. (Another current pathology shared even by radicals is that an “alternative” party can seek to elect officials who could then enact good policy. But it should be obvious by now that’s impossible. On the other hand, it could be possible for legislators from an anti-corporatist party to help organize ad hoc coalitions to defeat BAD bills (i.e., all of them) and enforce gridlock. This could even help break up the two party system. The only expedient goal for electoralism is to elect cadres who act as obstructionists from within to help the movement whose real action is outside that system.)

      At that point it can start preparing to become a mass organization, as the crises get worse, and as nothing works anymore, and the people are ready to try anything. At that point abolitionism could present itself as the key to breaking all logjams, unplugging all bottlenecks.

      I’m working on GMOs and corporate agriculture. We need abolition organizations here most of all. But the same principles apply to every other sector. We’ll know the real actionists in accord with how they accept and apply those principles. But it seems to me that everything else has been proven not to work under these circumstances.

      Comment by Russ — January 14, 2014 @ 4:51 pm

  4. “As for the measly notion of carbon taxes, command-and-control, etc., there’s no chance of mustering anyone to fight for that. It’s too picayune a goal, and yet to win a such a temporary victory would take just as hard a fight as to wipe out the enemy once and for all. That goal’s not going to stir the soul, fire the imagination, set people in motion driven by an inner flame. But a movement which sets great goals could possibly do this.”

    Confronting evil, at times, is necessary, but in a general sense I think it’s true to say that Creating Good is a much more powerful strategy than reacting to the establishment’s doings. Building the Good, nourishing ourselves, this is something that can “stir the soul’. When you get your own backyard in order, when you get your own mind in order, you help all minds, all backyards. Even people who can’t understand this, can understand that someone who has their own affairs in good order, radiant health, etc, is a teaching and inspiration to the ones that cross their path directly..

    That small minority of people on this planet that show signs of consciousness, in general err by putting too much energy into reacting to the establishment’s program. If they shifted tracks, we would see much better results.

    An example of shifting tracks : put one’s “activism” energy into returning to living in groups, where you not only directly control your food and energy supply, but have an oasis that nourishes you, where children and others learn by direct experience and from people they know, instead of from programming coming from a tv set, a govt school system, etc.

    My own anthropological research convinces me that living in groups is vastly superior to living atomized, and that the norm for these groups involved bridging the “country” and “city” ie you lived in the country and city simultaneously. Food production was centered at your “village” and a group of villages were linked to their “city”.

    People need to awaken to how we are being systematically manipulated by the establishment to live atomized, super inefficient, disoriented lives, where they are constantly dumping into our minds and creating endless problems for us to react to. It’s no secret to thinking people that wherever you have had societies with any degree of freedom, where people directly controlled their food, they have had bombs dropped on them, wars started, forests cut down, rivers polluted, missionaries sent in, and a million other techniques used to destroy and atomize their society. Today we live in a global slave prison. But, we still have a lot of choices, and I believe it’s a realistic goal to reform communities within the prison. One successful community, where people build the Good, their own food, energy, education, medicinal knowledge, harmony with all life, art, music, dance, gym, library, healing arts, meditation, lovemaking, a nurturing tolerant environment where you grow up believing you are divine, not “obscene”, … linked to a local metro area, would be a million times more efficient than forming myriad groups to address this and that current establishment assault.

    Comment by Tom M Culhane — January 15, 2014 @ 1:31 am

    • As you and I have discussed before, these things are good but not sufficient. I’m afraid the corporations and governments will insist that people not do these things. (And you don’t even want to organize a movement to encompass them, but just have it happen 100% “spontaneously”, uncoordinated, ad hoc, and therefore completely vulnerable and easily stamped out.)

      Therefore the only thing which can ensure the affirmative is a strong resistance and counterattack. The affirmative will be impossible without the negative. The two have to work together.

      I don’t deny the affirmative just because I work primarily on the negative. On the contrary, I make a point of always directing people toward the affirmative ideas of Food Sovereignty, agroecology, and the ideas and practices of democracy in general.

      https://attempter.wordpress.com/series-on-food-sovereignty/

      But those who think they can have only the affirmative are naive, and those who take their narrow-mindedness so far as to disparage the negative are objectively on the side of the corporations.

      “We now must all hang together, or we shall surely hang separately.”

      Those who work on the affirmative do great work. But we abolitionists will have to insist that they respect the importance of our work and recognize that our work is necessary for theirs. Otherwise they have nothing but the hang-separately mentality Ben Franklin warned against at the signing of the Declaration.

      There’s a more detailed discussion of the necessary affirmative-negative synergy here.

      https://attempter.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/humanitys-great-movement-against-corporate-hunger-notes-on-strategy-3-of-3/

      Comment by Russ — January 15, 2014 @ 3:17 am

      • My opening words were, ” Confronting evil, at times , is necessary…”, so I’m not sure how much of your reply is addressed to me. Anyway I stand by what I wrote.

        A grassroots return to living in communities is not something “completely vulnerable and easily stamped out.” Quite the contrary. Communities would naturally network, and have tremendous potential power.

        Your more detailed discussion refers to putting out a lot of printed material, etc. Reading is fine, but is a very limited form of communication. People react to what they read only when they are ready for it.

        The typical person in this global prison we live in, is disoriented, spaced-out, going in circles… They read and read and read… and there is more overpopulation than ever, more cars than ever, more support for establishment governments, media, corporations, religions… than ever. People need to reconnect with Reality, and communities offer this opportunity.

        Imagine a visitor to a community, with the following questions:

        Q:How come your food tastes so good here? A:Because our soil is mineral rich, and we recycle the nutrients, we don’t use chemical fertilizers or other tricks…

        Q: How come your food looks different than the vegetables in the store? A: Because we grow heirloom varieties well suited for this local climate, we don’t use genetically modified seeds, because for one thing they have never existed in the food chain before so no one really knows what the consequences are of eating them. Establishment types pretend they are experts on plants, but if pressed you will see they have no idea how to make a plant, or even one cell of a plant, or even the building blocks of cells… No they are not experts, but extremely dangerous people involved in things they do not have the wisdom to be involved in…

        Q; You guys drink raw milk and yogurt and cheese… How come your noses haven’t fallen off and you haven’t developed HUS and other horrible diseases like my microbiology textbook teaches?? A: Because, sadly, academia is controlled by the government, and the government is controlled by organized crime, and so they deliberately slander super foods like raw dairy. Why? To fuel the biggest business they have going today, Sickness aka Healthcare. It’s bigger than oil, autos, …

        Q; You guys walk around without clothing when it’s warm … aren’t you afraid the children’s minds will be harmed by seeing their own species naked?? A: No, children aren’t harmed by seeing their own species naked or engaged in healthy natural behavior. They are harmed by being taught they are obscene. It’s called establishment psychological warfare …

        Q: You guys just use an old school bus to commute to town twice a week, that burns fallen wood from the forest that surrounds your community, that you preserve. But I thought we need new, green technology to be able to live without cars, oil, nuclear power, coal, …?? A: No, actually, you don’t need any new technology to live clean. It’s already right here. You’ve just been too zoned out to see it…

        You get the idea I hope. Having tangible, real world communities, would be a million times more powerful in teaching, than all the printed word in the world.

        I am not disparaging your work Russ, I really like your writings, that’s why I’ve posted here. Independent media is super valuable.

        Comment by Tom M Culhane — January 16, 2014 @ 12:48 am

      • Tom, I was replying to your either/or language toward the end of the comment, which you repeat in this comment. But history proves when tyranny is on the prowl, an organized movement (which you keep reducing to “printed material”; we’re only at the beginning now, but even now the idea goes beyond a printed magazine or something, as I’ll describe below) is infinitely more powerful than any number of ad hoc “tangible, real world communities” who don’t organize together. A perfect example, which closely tracks our own situation, is the way both US corporatism and Bolshevism were able to subjugate vastly greater numbers of peasants/farmers. It was because these peasants, however tangible their communities, refused to organize against a force determined to destroy them.

        It was also a reply to the general idea that individual, “private” efforts can suffice. This is similar to the survivalist/bunker mindset. But any kind of go-it-alone mentality will not suffice. There needs to be an organized, networked movement (in which case anyone who still did “go it alone” would be free riding on this movement).

        That general idea may not apply to you, but it’s a common pathology. You’ve seen how everyone at the Gumpert blog is allergic to the very concept of political organization for anything beyond raw milk by itself. And I’ve seen the same thing at Peak Oil forums. This is the pathology Americans need to overcome.

        The publicity campaign will be not just media materials, but organizing community discussion groups, public speaking campaigns like the Farmers Alliance lecturer campaign, and personal discussion. The main point of it at first won’t be to “convince” the masses, who as you say aren’t yet ready for that. The point will be to recruit cadres and supporters, and to force the existence and ideas of the movement upon the public consciousness. People in general may not yet be ready to renounce the status quo and embrace the alternative, but the first big step is to make them consciously aware of the alternative, so that it’s a day to day part of their thoughts.

        Then, when things happen which cause a tectonic shift in the mass psychology, and the people are ready for radical change, their thoughts will turn to the alternative they know, and the movement framework which already exists to assimilate them. In that way a tipping point can be turned in the direction of abolishing corporate power and rebuilding human economies and politics.

        The kind of personal example you describe is an important part of all this. It would have a magnified effect if people like you saw themselves as part of a larger movement, and helped build an organization based upon it. At first the work wouldn’t be much different, but we’d have a coordinated name, profile, strategy, information, etc., and the ability to help one another in an organized way.

        Comment by Russ — January 16, 2014 @ 3:00 am

    • Define “the Good.”

      While I can agree that “confronting evil” is best done by framing what you do in positive terms, that is not the same thing as refusing to target the “evil” that stands in your way. This kind of approach does not actually require you to “awaken” anybody to the fact that they are an idiot. You can use what people already believe about the current system– what it is and what it should be– to “confront evil” without awakening them to the manipulation you describe. Nobody wants to believe they’re a dupe, a rube, a fool. You will be ignored for implying that they are. Everybody in our society is conditioned to believe they are above average, unique, special.

      The only thing to which you have to “awaken” the masses is that the corporate form is the opposite of taking “personal responsibility,” which is what our current social values demand of real people. Taking personal responsibility should mean being fully responsible for everything you do. If you invest in a criminal corporate enterprise, your entire wealth should be at stake as compensation, just as it is if you were a con man working on your own. It will be much easier, and MUCH more effective, to unite people through this kind of approach. Your approach just leads to larger “atoms” to be swamped by surrounding communities. Think of a lone “dry” town in a state otherwise awash in liquor. If you want to attack globalization one community at a time, you will fail.

      And what an odd notion that anybody should grow up believing they are divine (or obscene) . . . Personally, I find that sentiment completely contrary to everything else you say above. It is the belief in Man’s dominion over nature that is used to rationalize everything you imply that you are against.

      Comment by Tao Jonesing — January 16, 2014 @ 1:54 am

      • “Define ‘the Good'”.

        “The Good” is something for the individual to define. By attuning to what it is you think things should be like, you aim your ship in the correct direction. My mom once said to me, “Trying to solve the world’s problems is like putting your finger in a hole in the dike…”, so I told her, take your finger out of that hole and put it in a hole in the ground and drop a seed in it. (non gmo, open pollinating of course).

        “The only thing to which you have to “awaken” the masses to is that the corporate form is the opposite of taking “personal responsibility”…”

        The problems we face are much bigger than you realize, and the establishment much more organized and devious then you see. A return to communal living is not creating more “atoms”, but rather, molecules, if you like analogies. It’s called rebuilding from the ground up (see the quote by Russ about hanging together or we will hang separately. Your lone wolf approach is NOT the answer,)

        I have no problem telling people that they are divine, especially considering the assault their mind and body has been under since day one (it’s kind of hard to take personal responsibility for things like having your genitals mutilated right after birth, etc. btw…)

        But believe me I do not want to promote the idea of “Man’s dominion over nature”. I have been very influenced by Native teachers in this life. The community I describe above is a Nature Preserve as its foundation.

        Comment by Tom M Culhane — January 16, 2014 @ 12:20 pm

      • A common metaphor is rhizomes: interlinked, vast, decentralized, but an organized whole. Or to go with your analogy, what’s needed isn’t a free-floating DNA fragment, but a genome. Each gene has its role to play, but it also shares roles with other genes, and is part of a unified holism.

        Where it comes to human action, it’s not enough to do one’s own thing while just expressing verbal support for collective action and using the word “movement” in a purely figurative way.

        I’m not arguing with anything you’re doing, Tom, but with your notion that it’s sufficient for lots of individuals and small groups to do such things without coordinating. As I said earlier, system aggression is going to crush all this in the absence of such organization.

        Not to mention that, increasingly, we’re going to need to work together in order to be healthy and even to survive, since the amenities of “civilization” will increasingly be inaccessible as austerity’s liquidation of the people proceeds.

        Comment by Russ — January 16, 2014 @ 1:50 pm

  5. Russ, I think we have a fundamental disagreement on how things are organized and how energy transfers in this universe. But still, I think you are missing the point on how small communities as I envision, naturally lend themselves to coordinated networked action.

    Small communities would face the same kinds of threats: local governments trying to create burdens with zoning laws, etc., children being threatened with forced vaccinations and forced indoctrination, the fields being threatened with gmo pollution, the media cartel portraying the group as a weird “cult”, “obscenity” laws being used to attack them, etc. etc. Communities would naturally link with others. They naturally lend themselves to activism, meeting places where everyone gets to talk, hotbeds of good activity… and while a lone wolf showing up at some event may have an impact, when 25 show up, it’s like a small army, “What’s all the commotion about?”

    How much time and energy does the average person put into acquiring his car, housing, food, childcare… and who does he work for to do this? I have five acres alone because I couldn’t find like minded people to join me in a community. The county would force me to have septic if I build on the land, 6 grand, a well is 3500, fencing for goats, and being there every day to milk them, is a big job for one, but simple for 25… Communities would free up people’s time and energy.

    Done properly, communities would provide an oasis from the insanity of this current system, where the spirit of the person can bloom. This is where I’m sure we would disagree. Some scientists today have come to conclusions very similar to ancient ideas, such as the Native idea that the seed of the whole Creation is within each of us. Energy transfers at a distance. What this means is, when a bird sings in the tree, you might say his time could be better spent doing some networked, coordinated, organized… action, but if the bird stops singing, he isn’t using his instrument for what it is really made for, and when he is singing (and that is, after all, what he really feels like doing), he is helping the whole Creation.

    The peasants and others that got overrun, that you refer to, you need to realize their communities were already in the process of disintegration. This gets into, what does a harmonious human society look like, and that gets into the matrilineal family structure, one of the establishment’s best kept secrets.

    And it gets into, how is it that a small group is able to subjugate humanity and destroy Mother earth, and how do we find our real power and way out of this mess…

    Comment by Tom M Culhane — January 16, 2014 @ 9:30 pm

    • A bird always tries to do what is in its nature to do. This is hardly analogous to humans, since:

      1. Under modern conditions so many of us are forced to act against our naturally cooperative nature (as proven by the evidence of anthropology). This is done through a combination of systematic indoctrination which seeks to turn the worst aspects of human nature (competitiveness, greed, hate) into the cancerous norm, and economic coercion.

      2. We have the ability to consciously organize to resist and counterattack against the forces which are seeking to destroy our humanity, whereas birds which find their diurnal singing unable to compete with industrial noise are often forced to sing at night, against their nature, and probably therefore at a disadvantage. But they have no other option. We do.

      Do you have evidence that peasant communities like those of Russia or those under assault by globalization “were already in the process of disintegration”, or did you just make that up? In all my extensive reading on the Russian peasantry, I’ve seen the opposite.

      Well, best of luck with it, and keep us posted on how it’s going.

      Comment by Russ — January 17, 2014 @ 2:53 am

      • I’ll qualify that last statement. Our nature certainly shall overcome, along the lines I wrote about in this post.

        https://attempter.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/is-the-triumph-of-food-sovereignty-inevitable/

        But what I meant there, and in this latest comment, is that when we speak of the imperatives of human nature and of earthly nature in the aggregate, the idea that humans can and must organize to accomplish the greatest challenges is hardwired into it.

        Comment by Russ — January 17, 2014 @ 2:59 am

      • “1. …our naturally cooperative nature … systematic indoctrination which seeks to turn the worst aspects of human nature (competitiveness, greed, hate) into the cancerous norm…”

        Russ, your words I’ve copied here are right on the money, and if you add the words “romantic jealousy” to “competitiveness, greed, and hate”, you will understand that I didn’t make up the part about those peasant societies already disintegrating.

        The bird in the tree has a certain nature. Our species has a certain nature. The nuclear family marriage contract idea is fundamentally against our nature, and a key key part of how we are kept divided and conquered.

        Our closest relatives on this planet (bodywise-bonobos, brainwise-bottlenose dolphins) are free love species. And in fact it is difficult to find any mammals that live monogamously.

        I have to bring this up because if any of your readers are going to try to return to community living, they need to know that the first thing that breaks communities apart is romantic jealousy. People living in close proximity, are going to do what comes naturally, or at least crave this. People who have lived in intentional communities will tell you this, as they did me when working on my own community vision. But I didn’t need to ask, it’s just common sense. That’s why from the start I was looking for people who do not believe in the marriage contract idea for expressing your feelings. In the most natural of family structures, the matrilineal family, you live with your blood kin on the mother’s side, there is no marriage, a woman’s brother is the male guardian of her children, and no one speculates about who the biological father of any child might have been. I learned about this family structure from my meetings with some of the last of the Natives that still live communally in this country.

        I’m not expecting readers to overcome years of indoctrination by simply reading my words here, but I’m laying ideas on the table. The biggest obstacle to returning to communities is the idea that you own someone and they own you, and you have a right to dictate their feelings, and are supposed to get upset if they act on natural healthy feelings that aren’t directed toward you.

        As I’ve said before, the globalization and subjugation of our species goes back much further than people realize.

        Comment by Tom M Culhane — January 17, 2014 @ 10:34 am

      • It’ll be interesting to see what kind of new ways of living there will be, and probably few of them will actually be new.

        Comment by Russ — January 17, 2014 @ 4:51 pm


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