Scientific Research & Self-Development Activism
Food grows everywhere, that's not really the problem. The problem is the convoluted system we have for picking and eating it. Jean-Jaques Rousseau wrote:
"The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, bethought himself of saying `this is mine' and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civic society. From how many crimes,wars and murders ... might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes or filling in the ditch, and crying to his fellows: `beware of listening to this impostor!'? You are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody."
As things stand, I could not get up and walk out of the city and survive. this is because all the land "belongs" to someone. Some brave people do try to live like this. They are called travellers and sent to prison. The reason they are travellers is that they aren't allowed to stay anywhere. Wherever they go the locals, in their smug suburban self - satisfaction, won't tolerate them and have the nerve to call them dirty, while their own sewage kills the rivers and their rubbish festers in giant landfills or burns in incinerators, poisoning the ground water and the air... But their gardens are nice and tidy aren't they?
All the food we eat comes originally from wild species. I stayed on a farm for a while once, which kept cattle. One day I saw the farmer running across a field banging two pans above his head. When I asked why, he said he was chasing some deer away. As I persevered with my questioning he said that the wild deer ate a lot of grass which was for his cattle. I asked why he didn't just forget about the cattle and eat deer meat instead, as this would obviously make for an easier life. He mumbled something about city folks and stormed off. Of course I'm not really that stupid - I know about mortgages and such like. Mortgage actually means `death grip' in French. Perhaps if more farmers could speak French they wouldn't have got in the mechanised mess they are in now.
The point is that there really is abundant food around, if there wasn't, we'd all be starving. With a different (all right, very different) system we could all live healthy and fulfilling lives.
The things that civilisation claims as it's benefits are all really the benefits of human society, mutated to meet the needs of industry rather than the human spirit. The flashing lights and pounding rhythms of the night clubs are a pale, soulless imitation of the tribal gathering. Television replaces the fire and storytelling. We no longer interact with each other, we merely stare in unison at the box while its torrent of mind-numbing mediocrity pours uncritisised into our subconscious mind; there to leave its loveless, isolating value system. Our transport systems enable us to use the energy of other life to travel greater and greater distances at ever faster speeds, but moves us ever further from each other. Everything becomes a commodity, even loyalty now has a card in our supermarkets.
This is something I've come across lately in a discussion forum, as someone that's frustrated with society in this capacity; namely, finding it very difficult to juggle both doing something worth living for, and being financially stable. What do you people think?
I would be in support of a system of integrating people slowly & stably from modern society to living on a tropical island which would be self-sustained (and not globalized, because that implies entertaining & being abused by the flawed value system of commodities the rest of our society uses.. they're strong words but that's exactly what the situation is, with globalization).
However, that's not going to work for a large number of people. For the dream the author talks about in the full article, we as a civilization would need to radically change our value system (have a hard divide between the island and the world, and don't allow any trade apart from emerencies. It's that point where you trade one commodity for another, that the bigger nation or the bigger world is being unfair in terms of your local economy. Because, for its people, it has to impose its greed, otherwise they would be making 'local people' who are food producers, rich. Think about that. If you don't believe me, this directly applies to the virtual economies of video games & the hypothetical trade border therein, so it's worth comparing concepts of value there.)
(this was just something new I thought I'd share.)
Looking back as far as I could about where the ideas of "property" and "ownership" come from, the early idea seemed to be a great idea, basically saying someone "owned" the land if they could show that they would be the best able to use it to serve their fellow man... It's a shame now it's just whoever has the most money wins.
As for your dilemma, I'm in the same one myself. I kinda know that I must, purely to survive, play some part in the system. Unfortunately it's not as easy as just getting off the grid like that, you need to have your own home and then energy and food production facilities which will take some time to get... Another problem with this is when you realise that there are basically no jobs in which you aren't continuously propping up the failing system merely by participating, it becomes increasingly harder to find a job because you aren't just unmotivated to work, deepdown you're against working a job that most people consider contributing to society because you pay taxes or whatever but you really know contributes nothing but fuelling wars and consumerism.
I agree with you. Many of us sacrifice our needs and happiness for the sake of sustaining a system that probably doesn't care for the needs and happiness of very few individuals. People who say that this system is efficient need to have another look at it...at everything, really. How efficient is a system where the majority of the population on this planet are either struggling to get by or dying by starvation everyday? Modern society has become very unsustainable. Suburban living actually pretty unsustainable and we need to find a way to shift away from it. And yes, our value system is very skewed. Some people advocate ditching the whole monetary system in favor of another system where we just produce everything that we need through the use of technology, which does call for a shift in our value system. Theoretically, it may be feasible, but I haven't seen it in practice yet. There is a town in Germany that independently produces it's own energy (more energy than they need) through solar. There are movements and organizations going towards shifting out of the current system. TVP and TZM are the biggest ones, but I am quite skeptical about those two because they call for a quantum leap of change in human society and our way of thinking, which I don't believe people are quite ready for yet. Personally, I'm all for shooting for the stars, but in this case, it's probably better to start in small steps.
Open Source Ecology is something that you may want to look at:
In the end, I believe it all comes down to values. There will always be a give and take, we just have to choose what we want, what we can live with, and figure out what is important to us. Unfortunately for those who are different, this inflexible system we live under makes it hard for us to live by what we value.
Great post btw! :)
open source ecology looks super-cool
Well yeah, in theory. The whole idea of 'The fisherman brings in the fish and the famer provides the vegetables' thing and Ideas like the exclusion of money don't work with our current population density across the world. Every country on earth is not interdependant, I.e it requires trade with other countries in order to be able to sustain itself. Taking away international, mass-scale trade and grey, quantifyable resources like money would just not work at the moment.
Our society is currently seeing the benefits of industrialism, but their margin over the benefits of a natural neanderthal lifestyle, is disappearing with our changing the habitat of the world to our own version. We've always had a great many people in the world along the way, and now that the system is so huge, this means we are crowded. We see industrialized society like a religion; we hope it will hold out not understanding it but hoping we dont destroy nature too much; but taking on small issues of politics, of conflicts in our tangled local lives, trying to make sense of our massively complex world and getting caught in each others' misery at failing ability to do this. This is where human conflict and hostility come from. "my interpratation; my truth; my /way of life/ is better than yours". When in reality one can observe that no way of life is superior, if all are able to enjoy theirs, and that our world is very absurd such that no-one can possibly stake claim of righteous living. In reality, our conflict comes from a repression of the fact that we, as rich nations, are unable to survive on our own and must take things from others, by force if we have to. Why have nations never lived alongside in complete peace? Because for us to have rich items and products, for us to live without earning our natural raw food individually, someone has to be fucked over. And that is the truth of modern civilized life.
We only have, logically, processes that SUSTAIN LIFE and processes that DON'T because they are CONVOLUTED or extremely complex beyond control (so, modern western society is *the* example. Incredibly-well-selling game world of crisp island beauty[Crysis, Crysis 2]? This can be taken as a sign that our civilized world isn't quite the superior one we'd like to believe, ultimately, if our members need to escape[and certainly Crysis isn't much more than its beautiful graphics].)
>deepdown you're against working a job that most people consider contributing to society
>because you pay taxes or whatever but you really know contributes nothing but fuelling wars
yeah, this is what I feel personally, something really resonated with me in this quote
A work ethic is essential to industrial civilisation. Without it people see work as it really is: toil, suffering and misery.
This reminds me of the state China is in, it brings images to me immediately. There's a part of me that says "don't help this continue". And I really question it. Is modern life worth it if there are genuinely thousands of people suffering, toiling in constant misery and fear, directly because of it? No-one has ever explained this to me, and it's something I struggle with a lot.
"toiling in constant misery and fear,"
That sounds familiar. :-)
Genesis chapter 3
17 And unto Adam He said, “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, ‘Thou shalt not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field.
19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return unto the ground, for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
I just realised this is in the I Power Section and not Off Topic :P That means you should DO something about it :D any suggestions? :P
I suggest a few things, advocate the zeitgeist movement (look at the official stuff, none of the facebook crap), go out and tell people about it (literally go into your town/city and explain to people whats wrong and possible solutions- another world is possible!) and if you can, occupy something (maybe not all the time, maybe just help existing occupy camps by taking them food or something).
Post proposes social and economic change; and potentially challenges the reader's current belief system and perspective. That seems fairly Activism related to me. ;-)