Friday, May 23, 2008

The Seeds We Sow

Over the last many months of posts, perhaps even years now, EFA has settled into a pattern of posts that includes news and commentary about climate change, peak oil, advanced technology, political and personal philosophy, along with an occasional dose of culture as embodied in a new movie or book.

And thanks to SB and other artistic contributors, we have been able to lace this all together with poetry, photography, illustrations, and many of the great works of the creative muse.

Early on, when EFA first began publishing, I would speak of the Earthfamily and the need to create new inventions of social contract. Within the first few months of EFA, I wrote the Principles post. And even though it needs a little work to keep it up to date, it still stands up pretty well to the always brutal test of time.

And, the founding vision that appears in the top left corner in the hundreds of thousands of read EFA pages still rings true to me.

"With the advent of advanced global communication, new forms of social contract can be created which transcend the geographic state. These new cybercoops or cyberstates will bring humankind to higher levels of cooperation and understanding."

But perhaps this vision was a little abstract. For the "a priori" understanding here is that we must organize ourselves or perhaps more appropriately, reorganize ourselves. We must reorganize ourselves into food coops, transportation clubs, communication partnerships, and housing shares, with our friends, and our networks at the local scale, the regional scale and the global scale.
We must bring ourselves together.

Howard Zinn says it well in this interview in Counterpunch.

Ziga Vodovnik: From the 1980s onwards we are witnessing the process of economic globalization getting stronger day after day. Many on the Left are now caught between a "dilemma" -- either to work to reinforce the sovereignty of nation-states as a defensive barrier against the control of foreign and global capital; or to strive towards a non-national alternative to the present form of globalization and that is equally global.

What's your opinion about this?

Howard Zinn: I am an anarchist, and according to anarchist principles nation states become obstacles to a true humanistic globalization. In a certain sense the movement towards globalization where capitalists are trying to leap over nation state barriers, creates a kind of opportunity for movement to ignore national barriers, and to bring people together globally, across national lines in opposition to globalization of capital, to create globalization of people, opposed to traditional notion of globalization.

In other words to use globalization -- it is nothing wrong with idea of globalization -- in a way that bypasses national boundaries and of course that there is not involved corporate control of the economic decisions that are made about people all over the world.

Ziga Vodovnik: Pierre-Joseph Proudhon once wrote that: "Freedom is the mother, not the daughter of order." Where do you see life after or beyond (nation) states?

Howard Zinn: Beyond the nation states? (laughter) I think what lies beyond the nation states is a world without national boundaries, but also with people organized. But not organized as nations, but people organized as groups, as collectives, without national and any kind of boundaries. Without any kind of borders, passports, visas.

None of that!

Of collectives of different sizes, depending on the function of the collective, having contacts with one another. You cannot have self-sufficient little collectives, because these collectives have different resources available to them. This is something anarchist theory has not worked out and maybe cannot possibly work out in advance, because it would have to work itself out in practice.

Ziga Vodovnik: Do you think that a change can be achieved through institutionalized party politics, or only through alternative means -- with disobedience, building parallel frameworks, establishing alternative media, etc.

Howard Zinn: If you work through the existing structures you are going to be corrupted. By working through political system that poisons the atmosphere, even the progressive organizations, you can see it even now in the US, where people on the "Left" are all caught in the electoral campaign and get into fierce arguments about should we support this third party candidate or that third party candidate.

This is a sort of little piece of evidence that suggests that when you get into working through electoral politics you begin to corrupt your ideals. So I think a way to behave is to think not in terms of representative government, not in terms of voting, not in terms of electoral politics, but thinking in terms of organizing social movements, organizing in the work place, organizing in the neighborhood, organizing collectives that can become strong enough to eventually take over --

First to become strong enough to resist what has been done to them by authority, and second, later, to become strong enough to actually take over the institutions." (more)

We have all the tools we need to reorganize ourselves for the time and events that lay before us. We have the hardware, the communication skills, and the software to completely blur the disappearing lines between geographic and social space.

But we do not yet have the will.

For we are all too comfortable in the Matrix.

But when the Matrix fails,

We will find our new ways, and our new lives,

in tomorrow's strong branches,

of the seeds we sow today.

Earthfamily Principles
Earthfamilyalpha Content IV
Earthfamilyalpha Content III
Earthfamilyalpha Content II
Earthfamilyalpha Content



Anonymous Anonymous said...

May 23,2008
The dangerous seed the mind has sown.

It's the most dangerous thing in existence--more dangerous than all our nuclear armaments, more dangerous than biological warfare, more dangerous than all the pollutants we pump into the air, the water, and the land, it is the flawed story we live of we humans being the only thing of importance in the universe. Further, we live the idea that humans are fundamentally and irrevocably flawed. We look at the world around us and find that turtles are not flawed, crows are not flawed, daffodils are not flawed, mosquitoes are not flawed, salmon are not flawed--in fact, not a single species in the world is flawed--except us. It makes no sense, but it provides us with an excuse we badly need. We're destroying the world--eating it alive--but it's not our fault. It's the fault of human nature. We're just badly made, so what can you expect? But the truth is we are not flawed we are just living the wrong story.

Daniel Quinn also said, I can make a prediction with confidence. If there are still people here in 200 years, they won't be thinking the way we do. I can make that prediction with equal confidence, because if people go on thinking the way we do, then they'll go on living the way we do--and there won't be any people here in 200 years.

Those 200 species a day that are lost are "out there" in the environment. Of course it's bad for the environment if they become extinct, but it has nothing to do with us. The environment is out there, suffering, while we're in here, safe and sound. Of course, we should try to take care of the environment, and it's a shame about those 200 extinctions--but it has nothing to do with us. Ladies and gentlemen, if people go on thinking this way, humanity is going to become extinct. That's how dangerous this idea is. Here's why ....(read the book Ishmael and the essay The New Renaissance both by Daniel Quinn).


1:06 PM  

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