2016-11-05

Distributed denial of servitude


Browsing through the web, following links where they will take me, I notice quite a few people speaking up about abandoning the old system in favour of something more worthwhile, amiable, life-centered.

I’m not promising anything we do will save us from climate disasters ahead. But becoming more authentic, sustainable, correcting the process of decision making, flattening the power structures, moving from corporations to worker owned cooperatives, and ending this multi-millennia rule by elites who live by might-makes-right is worth doing at any stage.”, says, for enstance, Jason Holland, self-described anarchist and blogger.

Maybe it is just that I happen to stir up more of that stuff because I am looking for it, but I do have the impression that it has become increasingly easy finding it, and that the time is right for a major shift. We still are a tiny minority heavily constricted by mainstream culture, yet the seed of change has taken root in the fertile soil of the human mind.

How can we bring about the manifestation of that which the mind still has to grasp and what our hearts know already since birth?
Small numbers call for guerilla tactics. We do not want to repeat the same mistakes previous revolutionaries have fallen for, though. Violence is not an option. Hollowing out the system from within is not an option. 'Green' consumption is not an option. Large organizations are not an option. Each of us stands profoundly alone in the face of an all-overwhelming machine, and the probability of a near-term failure of the Earth's biosphere.

It is from this standpoint of powerlessness that we can give up false hopes for change on a large scale, chuck out the notion of educating the masses, abandon the idea of pushing the right buttons to rectify what's 'wrong'. What we think, what we say, what we do, and how we relate to other beings cannot immediately trigger the drastic changes on a macro level most activists seem to be calling for; the real effect plays out in how it changes ourselves, and how it changes those immediately affected by our actions: our friends, family, pets, gardens, work results etc. The life in the immediate Now, the life in dignity, the life in servitude to Life – this is what the Real Revolution is about. It may make a difference in the long run, on an accumulated macro level, but I have the gut feeling we ought not even think about it this way.

It is a dire situation we are in –

If we don’t stand soon not only is the climate a done deal but as we slide into the gravity of collapse as a disparate group at each other’s throats we’ll become ever more barbarous if we don’t fight to end this culture of ego now.” (Jason Holland again.)

Like Jason, I don't want to make alarmism my standard notion, but that doesn't mean that the description of the situation as I perceive it has to sound like a preacher's vision of paradise. On a certain level, there are real threats some of which require instant action, probably even violence. I am not about discouraging anybody from doing whatever they feel is necessary.

Having said as much, I would go into a different direction: Let's ask the question whether we are acting from fear of what might happen if we didn't act. Are we seeking company in order to extinguish that feeling of being alone? Why not live up to the deepest understanding we can grasp, and implement that in every minute, every move? What about standing for what we aspire, rather than against what we despise?
We could stop selling our labour for money and instead be dedicating our time for free to our neighbours;
we could start educating our children ourselves, teaching them subjects and skills the schools keep under wraps: how to relate sincerely, how to find out things, how to sustain oneself, how to recognize truth;
we could start exploring our environment at walking distance, taking in smells and sights we never notice from within our cars;
we could give up listening to the telly and start telling our own stories; in doing so, we could give preference to listening to the person in front of us over the person calling in on mobile;
we could stop buying and start creating things ourselves, like food, music, jewellery, and housing;
we could begin gathering in small tribes of neighbourhoods and friends, exchanging goods and services for free, like caring for minors; we could value family bonds; we could value the land and bond ourselves with our blood to it. The land is us, and we are the land. This is how we can stand strong in the face of the violence this culture is engulfing us in.

Each moment lived in the spirit of not being afraid is a denial of servitude to the – whatever your preferred choice of words is – materialistic, utilitarian, short-sighted, imperialistic, exploitative, capitalistic, omnicidal, psychopathic civilization. Each individual following his or her heart contributes to the resilience of the 'attack' on the system by distributing the denial of servitude.
Keep in mind that our actions are not to be directed against dominant culture; they are primarily expressions of the different visions and worldviews we are beginning to manifest today. Then each of them is sending ripples through a culture that, though it has managed to overwhelm the whole planet, is built on false assumptions and ready to fall apart at any moment now, collapsing under its own weight. By refusing to act from fear we become like sand between the system's cogwheels.
But once again, don't think about it in these terms. Don't antagonize, don't anticipate. By being a builder of community, rather than a destroyer of civlization, life becomes worth living again. Let the 'problem' with the dominant culture take care of itself. It already does.

No comments: