“The arrogance of man is thinking nature is under our control, and not the other way around.”
~ Daisuke Serizawa
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over civilised people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”
~ John Muir, 1901
“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”
~ Chief Seattle
Over the past few decades, as satellite imagery has become increasingly able to observe the depletion of various ecosystems around the planet, environmentalism has increasingly come to the forefront to humanity’s concerns. The rampant consumption of natural resources which drove the Industrial Age has hit a wall as the demand for resources continues to grow exponentially, yet also become increasingly difficult and harmful to extract, leading to disastrous extraction and transportation methods like fracking and oil pipelines which have caused hundreds of horrendous spills since 2000 in the United States alone. The overwhelming number of subsequent ecological disasters that have injured countless people and wildlife have made it abundantly clear that if humanity is to have any future AT ALL, the land base upon which it depends for its very survival must take foremost priority. The consequences of neglecting our relationship to natural living not only affects us, but it damages the growth of our children both directly and indirectly, compounding the problem for future generations. We must rid ourselves of the ridiculous, sycophantic Stockholm Syndrome, believing that the wealthy are entitled to perpetually increase their power, ownership, and wealth at the expense of everyone and everything that they deem subservient to their own interests- especially nature.
“According to official history, this grid [industrialized authoritarian social system] is the natural outcome of an inevitable evolution. Thus natural history is not a multiverse of potentialities but rather a linear progression from Prometheus’ theft of fire to the International Monetary Fund. A million and more years of species life experienced in organic communities are dismissed as a kind of waiting period in anticipation of the few thousand years of imperial grandeur to follow. The remaining primal societies, even now being dragged by the hair into civilization’s orbit along its blood-drenched frontier, are dismissed as living fossils (“lacking in evolutionary promise,” as one philosopher characterized them), awaiting their glorious inscription into the wondrous machine.
Thus, as Fredy Perlman argued, imperialism is far from being the last stage of civilization but is embedded in the earliest stages of the state and class society. […] The instability and rapidity of change as well as the violence and destructiveness of the change both belie empire’s claim to natural legitimacy, suggesting once more an evolutionary wrong turn, a profoundly widening disequilibrium.
The frontier expands along two intersecting axes, centrifugal and centripetal. In the words of Stanley Diamond, “Civilization originates in conquest abroad and repression at home. Each is an aspect of the other.”
But the process is replicated internally on the human spirit: every [pathologically programmed person] finds
an empire in miniature “wired” to the very nervous system.
So, too, is repression naturalized, the permanent crisis in character and the authoritarian plague legitimated. It starts with frightened obedience to the archon or patriarch, then moves by way of projection to a violent, numbed refusal of the living subjectivity and integrity of the other — whether found in nature, in woman, or in conquered peoples.
At one end of the hierarchic pyramid stands unmitigated power; at the other, submission mingles with isolation, fragmentation and rage. All is justified, by the ideology of Progress — conquest and subjugation of peoples, ruin of lands and sacrifice zones for the empire, self-repression, mass addiction to imperial spoils, the materialization of culture. Ideology keeps the work and war machines operating.
Ultimately, this vortex brings about the complete objectification of nature. Every relationship is increasingly instrumentalized and technicized. Mechanization and industrialization have rapidly transformed the planet, exploding ecosystems and human communities with monoculture, industrial degradation and mass markets. The world now corresponds more closely to the prophetic warnings of primal peoples than to the hollow advertising claims of the industrial system: the plants disappearing and the animals dying, the soils denuded along with the human spirit, vast oceans poisoned, the very rain turned corrosive and deadly, human communities at war with one another over diminishing spoils and all poised on the brink of an even greater annihilation at the push of a few buttons within reach of stunted, half-dead [pathological people] in fortified bunkers. Civilization’s railroad leads not only to ecocide, but to evolutionary suicide. Every empire lurches toward the oblivion it fabricates and will eventually be covered with sand. Can a world worth inhabiting survive the ruin that will be left?”
~ David Watson, “Civilization in Bulk”
Industrial civilization, when guided by pathological people for profit and control, depends on imperialism- the invasion of foreign lands, the mass-murder and brainwashing of indigenous people, the brainwashing of its citizens, the perpetual consumption of resources, dehumanizing people as resources as well, ever-invading, ever-consuming with no regard for symbiosis, like a deadly virus. Clearly, the needs of the environment are more important than the needs of any fraudulent economic system which relies on perpetually increasing consumption. Therefore, any economic model or society that harms the environment upon which it depends is unsustainable, unethical, and, simply put, stupid. Any such system, therefore, must be either dismantled or reconfigured to harmonize with nature. Civilization (if such it can be called at this point) must be rapidly modified to become as sustainable on all levels. We have the capabilities to, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either underestimating the human potential to change or trying to make money off the perpetuation of an obsolete paradigm.
“The US Military spends well over a billion dollars per day to kill people “fighting the war on terror” and expanding US Imperialism. A billion dollars could pay for 5 million Third-World children to attend school for a year. For what the US spends to kill people people in 5 days, potable water could be provided to every human on the world who lacks it. Excluding land acquisition, the US government spends less on recover efforts for all endangered species than it spends on the military in 12 hours.”
~ Derek Jensen
We as privileged consumers are culpable in contributing to this mess, and if there is any conscience within in us, we must face this mess ourselves and strive to fix it in any way we can. Anything short of this is to tell lies to each other, and especially to ourselves, in order to maintain our predatory, unconscious, and violent way of living. It is a mistake to base our social priorities on profitability, convenience, or whether it is popular or offensive to complacent, politically-correct fence-sitters. Remember that we are led by psychopaths in power, and consequently the conventional culture is deeply ponerized, unable to judge right from wrong (see the section on “Statism & Authoritarianism”), deeply conditioned to fetishize superficial pleasure, violence, death, and retribution.
“There are periods in the life of humanity, which generally coincide with the beginning of the fall of cultures and civilizations, when the masses irretrievably lose their reason and begin to destroy everything that has been created by centuries and millenniums of culture. Such periods of mass madness, often coinciding with geological cataclysms, climatic changes, and similar phenomena of a planetary character, release a very great quantity of the matter of knowledge. This, in its turn, necessitates the work of collecting this matter of knowledge which would otherwise be lost. Thus the work of collecting scattered matter of knowledge frequently coincides with the beginning of the destruction and fall of cultures and civilizations.
This aspect of the question is clear. The crowd neither wants nor seeks knowledge, and the leaders of the crowd, in their own interests, try to strengthen its fear and dislike of everything new and unknown. The slavery in which mankind lives is based upon this fear. It is even difficult to imagine all the horror of this slavery. We do not understand what people are losing. But in order to understand the cause of this slavery it is enough to see how people live, what constitutes the aim of their existence, the object of their desires, passions, and aspirations, of what they think, of what they talk, what they serve and what they worship.”
~ Gurdjieff, “In Search of the Miraculous”
In the end, it comes down to priorities. Regardless of what the mass of humanity says or does, are you aspiring to live in ways which are more ecologically conscious? Are you walking or riding your bike for short trips, or do you drive your car? Are you consciously spending money supporting sustainable local farmers’ markets, or eating over-priced, pre-packaged, mass-processed, nutrition-less “food” stuffed with additives by corporate conglomerations that ruin the earth through chemically-induced agriculture and the horrific industrial torture of animals? Do you know how to grow your own food, and are you doing it now, perhaps in a community garden? For those whose time and money is obligated to raising children, dealing with a disorder, or just trying to make ends meet, are you at least taking some time out of your day to research and make more well-informed decisions? In this culture of convenience, most people waste a lot of time with superficial preoccupations and their own immediate pleasures. Are you willing to make necessary changes in your life? When self-work meeting practical application in our lives for the betterment of all life on Earth, we must be consciously developing ourselves to become more aware, more capable, more educated, more resourceful, and more loving, so that we become a benefit to the world and not just another bystander.
“The system is designed to harvest all of our energy and that’s why we have to step away from it. We’ve got to realize how much we are being played and open our eyes and begin to realize that everything we are facing comes down ultimately to the simple choice between right and wrong. The simple choice of the actions you take every day, the decisions that you make, the way you interact with people that is the simple fact of the matter.
And that’s why the situation could be changed so easily. Because it is a simple matter of people changing their perspective. Getting the information to a large enough amount of people for them to see the reality of it. Of course, breaking through the programing is also very difficult. The amount of social, economic and religious programming that people have been subject to is a huge problem. But again, even these types of programs can be overcome once people find themselves in a place of absolute hardship and scarcity, which is where we are going. That’s what is waking the world up by default . There are so many measures being used against us right now, the system is coming to people’s backyards. And so they are actually beginning to see the control routes for themselves, and that’s a good thing. It’s just a shame its got to a point of absolute hardship before they have actually seen it.
If we have strong supportive communities around these people then we can show them. There are people that care and that there is a better way we can do things. But its got to come down to the individual, by you making the correct moral choices in your actions. And don’t comply with anything that cause you to deviate from your moral compass. Just that action is enough to create huge ripples in reality. Imagine if the whole world started doing that. We could quite literally change the world in one day. That’s how simple it could be. It’s just getting the information to enough people. Not only getting the information to them but helping them to apply it to the rest of the world. Unfortunately, most people like to follow. To see that other people have done things and it didn’t get them in trouble, and say, “He got away with so maybe I will have a go too.” This is the way people think. And this is part of the fear program instilled in their minds, unfortunately.
Fear is the underlying mechanism of this whole system. Its all about fear based mind control. Fear based mind control is what prevents people from doing the right thing. It’s what prevents people from disobeying legislation. What prevents people from speaking out, speaking the truth, to their neighbors and friends, fear of what these people might think of them. So we police our own thoughts. We say what we believe people will want to hear. We say what people might perceive to be clever. We just want to say that which will make us popular, which is really unfortunate.
Truth is not a popularity contest. Life is not a popularity contest. Its about doing what you can with the potential that you have been given. We have enormous potential as a species. We each do individually. But combined as a species, we have unlimited potential. And that what I’d like to see us embrace. And that is everything that the system is designed to prevent us from realizing. The powers that be are desperate for us to never realize our own potential. They are desperate to keep us believing that the fiction they use to enslave us is real. And all this fiction does is keep us doing the wrong thing by each other. And its time we stopped that and question the morality of the system.
The system that is in place was apparently created by mankind to service our needs. So why is mankind the most expendable thing in the parameters of the system? Why does the system work so hard to balance the books rather than balance human consciousness? Balance the state of our societies. Balancing so that the people are living in their natural state of abundance, being in balance with the planet that we live on. What we got here is a massive state of imbalance. Because we have a very small group of people who have taken responsibility for everybody else and have done this by taking responsibility away from everybody and training the vast majority of society to give their responsibility and give their power away, and done that with the promise of trinkets, little games and little things to keep us happy, little designated entertainment zones we can go to, entertainment we can watch on the television or in the movies, different levels on the social ladder that we can attain, and when we get to these levels they give us little trinkets and toys to play with. And all at the expense of the earth.”
Thankfully, despite this lack of consciousness, there is rapidly increasing awareness for ecological concerns, small-scale, decentralized, local solutions to sustainable food production, and the widespread implementation of alternative energies.
One might think that humanity is so fundamentally opposed with living in nature that, despite having their basic needs fulfilled in a more rural and natural lifestyle, they would run back to their conveniences given the slightest opportunity. Actually, evidence shows that the opposite is true. Having been present during an exchange of prisoners in upper New York between the Iroquois and the French in 1699, Cadwallader Colden in his book “The History of the Five Indian Nations” observed:
“Notwithstanding the French Commissioners took all the Pains possible to carry Home the French, that were Prisoners with the Five Nations, and they had full Liberty from the Indians, few of them could be persuaded to return. It may be thought that this was occasioned from the Hardships they had endured in their own country, under a tyrannical Government and a barren Soil: But this certainly was not the only Reason; for the English had just as much Difficulty to persuade the People, that had been taken Prisoners by the French Indians, to leave the Indian Manner of living, though no People enjoy more Liberty, and live in greater Plenty, than the common inhabitants of New-York do. No Arguments, no Intreaties, nor Tears of their Friends and Relations, could persuade many of them to leave their new Indian Friends and Acquaintance; several of them that were by the Caressings of their Relations persuaded to come Home, in a little Time grew tired of our Manner of living, and run away again to the Indians, and ended their Days with them. On the other Hand, Indian Children have been carefully educated among the English, cloathed and taught, yet, I think, there is not one Instance, that any of these, after they had Liberty to go among their own People, and were come to Age, would remain with the English, but returned to their own Nations, and became as fond of the Indian Manner of Life as those that knew nothing of a civilized Manner of Living. [This] has been found true on many other Occasions.”
Mirroring this natural inclination to reject “civilization” when allowed to live peacefully and enjoyably in nature, Benjamin Franklin, in his correspondence to Peter Collinson, wrote:
“When an Indian child is raised in white civilization, the civilizing somehow does not stick, and at the first opportunity he will go back to his red relations, from whence there is no hope whatever of redeeming him. But when white persons of either sex have been taken prisoners young by the Indians, and have lived a while among them, tho’ ransomed by their Friends, and treated with all imaginable tenderness to prevail with them to stay among the English, yet in a Short time they become disgusted with our manner of life, and the care and pains that are necessary to support it, and take the first good Opportunity of escaping again into the Woods, from whence there is no reclaiming them. […] There must be in the Indians’ social bond something singularly captivating, and far superior to be boasted of among us; for thousands of Europeans are Indians, and we have no examples of even one of those Aborigines having from choice become Europeans! There must be something very bewitching in their manners, something very indelible and marked by the very hands of Nature. For, take a young Indian lad, give him the best education you possibly can, load him with your bounty, with presents, nay with riches, yet he would secretly long for his native woods, which you would imagine he must have long since forgot; and on the first opportunity he can possibly find, you will see him voluntarily leave behind all you have given him and return with inexpressable joy to lie on the mats of his fathers.”
The fact is that the authoritarians dominating society have conditioned people to fear the unknown, imagining they need government to happily and peacefully survive. That might have been true in certain circumstances in the past, given the lack of consciousness and harsh conditions, but is that true anymore? The promising, liberating prospect of returning to a more localized agrarian society, given the advances in sustainable permaculture designs and technologies, could be a readily integrated reality even in urban environments. There are so many ways to change our local collective momentum in order to evolve ideas. Change starts closest to home since society at large is slower and more reluctant to change.
Thankfully, however, evolution is not a democracy. Truly transformative change always begins at the margins of society, and, regardless of the opinions of the mainstream, inevitably finds its way in to the mainstream in some way, shape, or form. Much like the naturalists and environmental activists of the early to mid-20th century that were dismissed as “crazy tree-hugging hippies”, today we see the global establishment of numerous organizations for wildlife preservation, ecological conservation, and alternative energies, and even a widely known political “Green Party”. In the words of Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
No government, nor any mainstream institutions, will ever bring about the necessary creative solutions for the problems society faces. In fact, government has made living self-sufficiently off the grid ILLEGAL since it effectively removes government’s ability to directly control and regulate you. And if one well-known group of people do it it’s allowed to flourish and prosper, others will catch on and ask, “Why not us?” Therefore, it depends on the rebels, the innovators, the creative minority willing to forge ahead as quickly as possible, even at the risk of non-violently breaking the law, to establish new, more conscious, innovative, increasingly sustainable, scalable, and easily reproduced means of living.
But how might that look, and what are some simple steps we can tangibly apply?
Within the past century we have developed the necessary technological innovations and ecological understanding to efficiently provide healthy food, clean water, and reliable shelter for all people while sustainably operating within the natural dynamics upon which the entire world depends. Obviously, however, the emphasis on militarism and profiteering has overshadowed this potential. However, this radical change in living is an inevitable necessity. The real social struggle won’t be fought with weapons of mass destruction. It will be fought with acres of land, solar panels, rain collection, and off grid solutions. The goal is to stop participating in the obsolete authoritarian system and create our own. We can’t wait for Monsanto to build a nicer plant for us. We have to turn every inch we have into a productive landscape, and use our resources wisely to change the world in front of us. If you want a more peaceful world, if you dream of a better way, if you want to become more empowered, then it’s time to embrace domestic change and reoccupy your house. Free yourself step by step from shackles to their world and become truly sovereign. Teach each other ways to evolve. Learn from each other. Help each other. Build a different possibility. Granted, every environment has varying parameters for resources it can provide, so the following examples are meant to be taken as concepts for inspiration, not necessarily as solid solutions. Some modification may be required.
At this point, you may be wondering, even if we got rid of government, engaged in group self-work, and implemented these kind of alternative living strategies, what would that kind of society look like? How would it function? Let’s take a look at what would a government-less, psychologically-well adjusted, voluntary society in harmony with nature could realistically look like, and how can we feasibly begin to create it, shall we?