Every day now I become more averse to the system. I observe how my own mind struggles, and how it always shouts the word “local” in both my ears as the key to a solution. A local community is larger than a Greek oikos (etymological origin of the word economy) or household, but smaller than a polis. Resilient communities don’t fit within the paradigm that dominates our culture, that of a hierarchy of power. Rather than that, they are part of a web, sharing with each other on the basis of equality.
I read everyday on Facebook how people who are living self-reliant lives are being targeted by the government, especially in the USA, and it always sends a shiver down my spine. Often, they are wonderful people who got in trouble because they were too visible. And it makes me think about “our” strategy (I use the word “our” to denote anybody who is seriously devoted to a sustainable human culture, in harmony with the earth’s current ecosystems and who has realized that the system built on infinite growth should be terminated). Some of us need to think as resistance fighters, learning from the great resistance movements of the 20th century. Others need to think as rock stars, making the ideas of resilient communities, permaculture, radically less resource use popular among the mindless masses that get their opinions force-fed to them through their television sets. Still others need to think as actors, living incredibly sustainable lifestyles in inconspicuous ways to prevent being thrown in jail.
Because, make no mistake, everything that will harm corporate profit (and what we need to do WILL harm corporate profit) will be declared illegal. That is the Law of Lobby (LoL).
We need to stop expecting things from the government. Stop expecting they respect “civil liberties” or “human rights”. We need to start being smart. What is your reaction when they declare heirloom seeds illegal? Protesting against Monsanto with a funny tomato hat? Or learning how to store seeds yourself? We need to start taking this fight seriously. Protesting does not work.
But protesting did work for women suffrage and to abolish racism. Yes. Let’s solve that riddle. That’s because it produced more free consumers to be manipulated by corporations.
I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I’m just an armchair philosopher looking at the system and sharing his observations. One of the strongest moral arguments in favor of capitalism is that it would, in theory, give the people freedom of choice. This is reflected in the fact that most republicans support antitrust laws, and only theoretical liberal market fanatics, such as Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand, argue against it from their dangerously irresponsible abstract idea of “freedom”.
So when I say that all I want is a real alternative to the system’s way of doing things, the rightfulness of this search cannot be denied without undermining the (already weak) moral justification of that system. The moral justification of communism, an essentially perverted interpretation of equality (“from everyone according to her abilities, to everyone according to her needs”) cannot be applied to the system of communism itself. It presupposes that everybody needs communism, and needs or abilities that go beyond communism are not perceivable.
In the case of “free” market capitalism, at least the idea that we apply its foundational myth, the freedom of consumer choice, to the choice of the very system itself, can be perceived. We can imagine a different system, with different freedoms that are more in line with our ecological reality.
Sisters and brothers, we need to be strong. We need to make off-grid survival doable and comfortable enough to become attractive for a large enough number of us. We need to work hard for this independence of the system. Nobody of us should be enslaved at a supermarket counter, office, or factory, while her intellectual powers lie unused. We should have the infrastructure that assures survival. I learned about projects like www.nomadbases.org today, and there will be many more. We can do this. All we need is enough individuals who are brave enough to step outside of the system and contribute in their very own way to further our cause, which is nothing else than the long-term survival of a living planet.