Many people these days have set themselves the task of figuring out how to keep this civilization going despite the receding tide of fossil fuels. I am not one of them. I welcome Babylon’s decay, and earnestly hope for its end – rather sooner than later. While I applaud the efforts to rebuild resilience in our communities, a slow resigned descent into privations and gradual loss of valuable knowledge and skill, focusing on survival and keeping body and soul together just doesn’t grab my heart. Communities where power keeps on being abused will not be safe even under localization. Plunder is likely to continue in many true-and-tried ways as well as others yet unforeseen.
In 1850, most communities in America were resilient up the kazoo. But it was still a crappy system! The rich were fleecing the poor, genocide and slavery were in full swing, the naïve immigrants were preyed upon by all and sundry as soon as they stepped off the boat, and the myriad problems associated with domination civilization were in evidence – just as they had been in evidence in highly resilient ancient Egypt or China. I am not interested in the same old abusive system, just powered by “appropriate technology”!
What I dream of, what I want in my small way to help bring about, is another social pattern altogether. It used to be thought that the wealth and know-how accumulated by this civilization would launch us into cosmic conquest. What else would domination dream except yet grander domination? But it occurs to me that this same wealth and know-how can launch us into a social system that builds on what worked in the past yet shifts the patterns of power, morphs us from hubris to a measure of wisdom, and finally gives us what untold generations dreamed under the yoke of domination: we the people handling our own affairs, with quality of life as the yardstick, sharing power for the benefit of all.
Neither the Green Wizard project nor the TT initiatives nor the various relocalization efforts seem to see the larger picture. They are focused on easing us into an impoverished future gently rather than letting the chips fall where they may. Fine and good, but the reason we are finding ourselves in this giant bowl of turds is not for lack of mineral resources, or even too many people, or climatic vagaries (of concern though they are) but because civilized human society has been mismanaged for millennia by ruling classes whose primary concern is self-aggrandizement.
I have wondered for some time where exactly I fit in the doomer scene. And now I know. I am looking to collaborate with people who understand the problem of power, and are committed to solving it. That, and learning to live together as power-sharers while spreading those newly embodied habits far and wide. This is finally, for me, politics with meaning.
Pioneering people have set themselves to growing an organic farming culture, a vernacular housebuilding culture, a local money culture, an alternative knowledge-sharing culture, and others. These efforts have borne good fruit. Isn’t it time now to put sharply focused energies into growing an alternative trust-based, power-sharing culture? I want to spend the rest of my life helping to grow and nurture it. I see this culture as the keystone in the gateway leading out of Babylon and into freedom.