How do you truly make the world a better place for everyone, human and all of our relations? Revolutions change civilization. Anarchists say we need to stop it. I would say we need to replace it with something better. Follow this journey of logic to a better world.
If you want to replace a meme, and idea, you need to come up with a better one. A meme is like a gene but it uses you mind to replicate itself instead of your body. We have tried meme killers for 10,000 years saying “civilization is a bad idea”. It favors a few at the expense of the many. There is no shortage of bad news. But ranting does not change anything unless you have a better working model that can attract people to leave the other idea in mass.
Leaving vs. Imprisoned
Civilization has grown by imprisoning the human population and exploiting human and all other species and resources. Here is the tricky part, civilization can only persist by force, hence government and laws. Even sacred democracy is based on the premise of giving your sovereignty away to someone else. Capitalism does the same with private property and debt. You have to slave to keep a spot to live on this planet. The greatest shame is being homeless or is it the greatest gift to be free?
Civilization is “society by force”. Remove the laws, enforcement and property ownership and especially insecurity conservative people would say, “The world would go to hell in a hand basket.” For them it would, most developed world people have no way to make a living other than working or slaving for a monetary intermedium call money to buy things. Civilized man is dependent on the suckle of industrial society to survive. Industrial society supplies humans with food and shelter by replacing the natural world with a domesticated farmed, mined, logged one.
Developed world people will fight to the death to maintain industrial society because it sustains them. Without the grocery store, their dead.
To an Amish farmer, experienced permaculturists or third world person life would just go on without civilization.
So we learn our first three premises: civilization is society maintained by force, civilization maintains people by domestication of nature, and the key to society is control of the supply of food and shelter.
The corollary is if you want to control society, control the food supply and if you want to control food, control the seeds. Plug to buy your savable non-hybird, non-gmo seeds from www.restorationseeds.com.
Work vs. Slavery
Is there a difference between work and slavery in the civilized world? We imagine slavery and have no choice in work or housing, aka being imprison and forced to work. How different is that is being forced to work to keep you apartment or mortgaged home? How much flexibility do you really have in work and shelter. If you want a job you are beholden to who hires you, you are paid a wage they dictate to pay a rent or mortgage rate that is also dictated to you. If you do not show up for work, you’re fired. If you cannot pay your rent, you’re homeless. Ironically not having to deal with dictated wages and rents make slavery if not similar sound appealing in a way.
Work vs. Tribal
Maybe it comes down to who you are working for, and what resource base you are dependent on and nurture. In civilized society, you work for a person and exploit a resource base you have no control of. Unless you are a successful entrepreneur, you are all to familiar with the boss. You are working for the boss and disinterested third party customers.
The resource base is exploited in broad scale, nature’s efforts to heal herself are always setback each season. Natures tries to heal the land with succession from ground cover to prairie to shrubland to woodland to forest but the farmer stops the process at the first sign of pioneer plants he calls weed. On and on with the forester logger and miner. There are only a few tiny patches of original old growth forest left. We live in a man made world, emphasis on man.
How do we get back to the garden without losing our iPhones? hmmm. We just might have to. That is not really the question. The real question is,
“How do we return to making a living from the natural world so we nurture and defend it without lives?”.
The entertaining thing is that no city council, county commissioner or congressman would ever even think about asking that question. Think about it. The thought process on how to restore our natural resource base is not even within the thought process of modern civilized leaders. So, if they cannot even comprehend it, it is going to have to come down to you and I to re-indigenize the white man. (so to speak)
Teach Your Children Well
A revolution is not going to do it because that would just change civilization: from socialism, to communism, to capitalism, it’s still civilization. From conservative to liberal to green, it’s still civilization exploiting a domesticated landscape.
The place to start is with your family and friends. Here are some guides:
If you are not living a working model, you are just ranting.
Adults have a much harder time changing their lives than children.
If it cannot be repeated, imitated and handed down, it is going to die with you.
Indigenous and permaculture ethics: care for the earth first, then care for people and share the surplus.
Put these together and you have something. Try this on for a a reality check:
An alliance of earth-based communities with children’s schools.
Think of it as a landed permaculture community that focuses on teaching young children earth life skills: gardening, seed saving, herbalism, cob cottage building, basket making, wildcrafting, non-violent communication (NVC), etc.
The youth are the future leaders and shall inherit the earth. Instill in them both the ethics and the skills to lead a better life. The adults today have to work to give land to the children of tomorrow. Otherwise, the children will have to work wage slave jobs, we have to give children landed mortgage-free communities. Invest in the land and build your own structures. Not modern stick frame buildings but cob, straw or adobe homes with living roofs.
Focus on the children. I have taught 80 adults the two week intensive permaculture design certificate (PDC) course and almost none have been able to leave their day jobs and found a community.
The final and most important premiss: the adults of today have to work or slave to give the children access to natural resources and the skills to make a living from them.
Put your energy into the youth. Maybe someone should found an earth-based school network like Waldorf or Montessori school. You can become a green city council member, you may have better land use codes or recycling but you will still be running a city that is destroying the earth. Focus instead on getting skills and land in trust to the children.
We don’t have the leaders we need today and any decent one is blocked from innovating by the system. People with money have the money disease and no real heart or vision.
We need to grow new leaders who have the full system eyes. A leader for the future should be fluent (not book read familiar, 10+ years hands on experience minimum) in permaculture, botany, soil science, ecology, weather, finance, accounting, law, management, energy, natural building. People today with all of these skills are one in millions and frankly do not want to put up with being a leader under the current consumptive, male hierarchy paradigm. They want to get away from it.
We need to create intellectual reservations where families can opt out and come together ot create working models to have ours and all other species. This as E.O. Wilson writes is nature’s last stand. That means in the long run it is ours and our children’s too.
This is not about the adults of today, frankly we will all be gone soon, get over it. It is ab creating great new visionary imaginative leaders to save the world for all of those unborn.
Love Where You Live! Defend What You Live
We cannot save every place, most of humanity is so poorly programmed that they already have or will destroy the very habitat they stand on. They are going to have to ride their own ship down. It is a matter of those environmentally conscious to go to the last remaining wild places and defend them. Defend Standing Rock, defend the remaining intact forests, defend the seed diversity growing hot spots.
We will never save what we love and give a voice all other species a voice being in a minority living scattered. We must comes together in one place and become the majority there to defend these sacred sites. Just three generations ago visionary souls who cared preserved the last of the old growth redwoods so you and I could see what earth really looks like today. What we have mostly is less than a shadow to what once was.
Restoration Farm should really be called an arboretum or living edible landscape. We have increased biodiversity at least 10 fold probably a 100 since be moved here in 2008. We took a hay field and turned it into a young to middle aged food forest and medicinal herb landscape. Our Restoration Seeds company interfaces with the outside world as a tribal business to support the farm. What if you lived in an entire community or county that restored and defended the wild landscape.
Grow leaders, give them a save place to be nurtured, link up, defend what you love!
Chuck Burr is author of Culturequake: The Restoration Revolution. Revised Fourth Edition. 10th Anniversary.