Guest Columnist #61 - A Manifesto

    We have taken it too far. Too much on this planet is dying, and not enough of us are living. We are killing our life support, puffing it right out from under us, and taking countless other species with us. And at the same time our lives are becoming more and more controlled, standardized, packaged and processed by external forces. We have created a society, a world, so complex that each and every step of the way must be regulated in order for it to function. We have built a society far too grand of a scale and too complex for individuals too have any hopes in making a significant change in the events which effect them the most. How can anyone besides the relatively few "leaders" ever hope to obtain the satisfaction and necessity of having the power to direct their own lives while living in a world that is powered by things such as nuclear power and super computers and is afloat (barely) in a sea of transnational stock markets and IMF loans. We are powerless because the forces which direct our lives are far beyond our reach, not to mention our comprehension. For the most part our basic necessities (food, shelter, medicine, even water) are produced by sources far outside our realm of control. And it is these sources, these corporations, which are the most destructive to not only the Earth, but our ability to control our own lives as well. And yet we find ourselves fully dependent upon them for our existence. Why are we purposely subjecting ourselves to a life which is becoming more and more complex, controlled, disempowering, alienating, and most of all, destructive? It is obvious that we can only live within this system for so long before life, both physical and mental ceases to exist. SO WE SAY FUCK IT.
    It is time that we truly take the power back. And where is that power held? It's held in our dependence upon the system. As long as we remain dependent, no matter how many sit-ins, lockdowns, street parties, and riots we do, the trees will keep falling, the governments/companies will keep killing, and the system (Used for lack of a better word; in this context we mean the industrial/technological consumer world that is simultaneously destroying the Earth and our personal autonomy) will still remain more or less unchanged. And it remains intact simply because our money is still flowing through its veins because the vast majority of us, as of now, have no other way to obtain our basic necessities. "But what about the alternative and eco-friendly products made by small companies? They aren’t harming the Earth or oppressing us. They aren’t out for global conquest." True, but they too are still part of the same system, they are still dependent upon its gasoline, its electricity, its paper, its plastic, and its computers, to get the product to you. Thus, they too, while not directly doing so, perpetuate the system which is destroying the Earth and our personal autonomy.
    So how do we take the power back? We do it by becoming independent of the system. It's time we pull the IV out of our arms and set ourselves free. We must began producing/obtaining our means of survival; food, water, medicine, and shelter, completely independent of the industrial world. Meaning that we must come back to the land, living off what it provides us. We must be able to grow our own grains and vegetables to eat, and fibers to make clothing. And we must be able to hunt and forage what is provided to us by the Earth. We must be able to make our own tools, our own medicine, our own shelters, directly from the Earth. Only then will we be truly independent and truly free, when our real necessities (as opposed to the ones which we are conned into "needing" by our consumer culture) are produced with our own hands and nothing else. This way of life isn’t radically new, we've evolved and lived this way for thousands of years. This is an essential element in bringing the system down. We can have little hope in bringing it down while living our current lifestyle, which essentially keeps its blood flowing. This obviously on its own will not cause the system to fall apart, but creating a life outside of the system is an essential first step to crippling it.
    The main reason that we need to first create a new livelihood has already been outlined. The second reason is that if destruction of the industrial world is achieved, a working alternative needs to already be in existence. Any time there is a great change in the world, chaos is generally right on its heels, which makes it a hell of a lot harder to create any sort of positive change, not to mention a working society. Therefore it is imperative that a functioning and sustainable way of life is in place before the system collapses, to give this new way a higher chance of succeeding. Of course there is no guarantee that it will last through such a colossal change. Hell, there's pretty small chance that any of this will happen. But how much longer can we just sit around while the planet dies, anyway it couldn’t hurt to try.
    A major change of conscience needs to take place as well (as if this really needs to be said). We need to localize our lives, as a matter of fact it is essential to attaining self sufficiency since everything will have, to be produced from the land we live on. Why do you think we feel so alienated and powerless much of the time? Its because everything in this world is so damn big. Everything is happening on too grand of a scale? How the hell could we feel as if we are a part of the system or have a say in it, when we can’t even see its workings with our own two eyes. There is simply no way to have anything resembling anarchism or even a democracy when living in a society so complex and large scale. That is why we must localize our lives. Only when our lives are brought down to the local level can we build the mutual respect and community which we see as necessary for an egalitarian way of life. Only when "politics" are taken to a local level can there be held discussions/debates over matters which are understood by and directly affect the people.
    Another aspect of localizing our lives, is coming to an understanding and a feeling of kinship with the environments/ecosystems we live in. We need to know the plants and trees that grow from the ground and the animals and insects which crawl through the underbrush and fly from branch to branch. We need to feel the change of the seasons, knowing when the berries are good, when certain roots aren't too bitter, and when the migrations will come through. Not only is this knowledge of the ecosystems we live in necessary for self-sufficiency, but as well for harboring the feeling of respect and kinship needed for understanding the necessity of truly preserving the Earth. It is no wonder that our species is destroying the Earth, the vast majority of us only know concrete sidewalks and skyscrapers or are sucked into the surreality of sitcoms and evening news believing that is life. How can we expect people to feel the need to protect the Earth when they can’t even see, smell or feel it. Only when we come back to living as a part of nature instead of trying to live above it will we understand its true value and the need to preserve it. Lets face it, it's a hell of a lot harder for us to wreak havoc on an ecosystem when we realize that it means we don’t get a meal the next day or don’t have the right plant to make medicine for a sick child because we killed it off. We are simply too detached right now to notice the destruction or feel the kinship with the Earth which needs to take place in all of our hearts. This is why we must localize our lives.
    This of course isn't simply a call to head for the hills and disappear from society, that's just part of it. At the same time we must intensify our fight in order to paralyze this system. This means we must fight on all fronts; a change of conscience amongst our species as well as attacking the physical plant which this system depends on. Recently damage to property has been labeled as violent. We say this is bullshit. Violence is attacking or somehow inflicting pain upon another living being. To attribute this term to inanimate, man-made objects is one of the sickest forms of materialism to manifest itself in our society yet, by raising them to the level of living beings. Sabotage is not violent, it is not inflicting pain upon anyone (unless you count the occasional heartburn a CEO might get when they see their profits go down). The entire system, from banks to strip-
mining to the IRS, depend on these material objects, power lines, computers, televisions, and communication systems to run. To not strike at the infrastructure, the very heart of the system would be ludicrous. Face it, we're not going to reform it through politics and lobbying, we simply need to bring the motherfucker down. What the hell is the government gonna do if thousands of people create their own alternative life outside of the systems realm and simply stop participating. There's no law (yet) against not participating. We stop consuming and contributing to the economy, we quit our jobs, we stop paying taxes (hey if your self-sufficient and living off the land you don’t have, any income, therefore you don’t pay taxes!), and we start fucking shit up. Simply detaching ourselves from society, if enough people did it, could significantly weaken the system. Combine that with a little creative subversion here and there... well, who knows what will happen. All we know is that our planet doesn't have much time to live at the rate we are going, meaning we don’t have much time to act, so we must strike and strike really fucking hard, and try our best to bring about a sane way of living.
    So grab your hoe or your bow and arrows, depending on your lifestyle, and head for the hills, or wherever else in your region there is to go, and forge that relationship with the Earth that is still alive somewhere deep down in our hearts. Free your body and your mind from the insanity of our man-made world, and live simply off what the land provides us. Lets bring our lives back to the local level where we might be able to create the atmosphere to live in a truly respectful and equal away amongst not only our fellow human beings, but the entire natural world as well. Its time we take action. FUCK SHIT
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