a plague of questions

trapped in the doldrums of not knowing.  the space where the wind doesn’t blow.  dark murks of confusion.  how do i identify and become part of a group that is actually making a difference, a group that isn’t complicit with the wetikonomy, a group that is actually working against the machinations of the corporate state, a group that isn’t just providing temporary help on a superficial level?  world wildlife fund shakes hands with coca-cola.  is the elizabeth river project any different?

is joining an anarchist federation necessary to participate in sustainable development projects?  do we need anarchist communities?  is all permaculture permaculture?  are all urban community projects doing the same amount of good?  what differentiates one community service project from another?

we know we can’t just take down civilization without that being genocide.  on the other hand it has been argued that sustainability itself is not the answer either.  this leaves transition as the only solution.  a gradual transitioning away from industrial civilization is the only way out and this has to be accomplished, it would seem, through small acts at local levels.  campaigners and pressure groups will do what they can to influence governments while others will choose the path of direct action.

 

gradual small scale change

deep green resistance seems to push for an overnight dismantling of industrial civilization by targeting critical nodes of infrastructure and accepting the subsequent mass population die-off as collateral damage.  there are also militant anarchists and other radical groups like DGR that sympathize with the notion of forcefully implementing a direct change on a massive scale.  other radicals and anarchists opt instead for a multiplicity of small scale grass roots projects being employed sporadically at the local level, creating cells of alternative living that serve as bases from which new human communities can emerge.  do people even have time for small scale change to gradually shape the future?  there is a great deal of pressure to think in terms of rapid, global-scale radical transformation.  what if this is only possible through a gradual amalgamation of grass roots efforts at the local levels?  how does one choose where to get involved?

addressing addiction

financial strain

isolation/ empties out social life

can’t sleep normal hours/ interferes with circadian rhythm

negatively impacts self-esteem, self-image/ feelings of guilt

risk of getting in trouble with parents or worse, the police

 

Summary:

I want to nourish and maintain healthy, honest relationships with my family and friends and myself.  I want to have financial balance.  I want to feel good about myself and I want to be able to get adequate sleep on a regular basis.  I have to make a choice.

psychiatric medicine

since i’m taking medication and seeing a psychiatrist, maybe I should evaluate myself and my life, and see if there aren’t things that medication might be able to help.  or else what are some viable alternatives if there is something medication cannot help.  do I have any life goals or goals for myself?  can medicine help with motivation?  do I lack motivation?

what can be done

“However it is accomplished, when the costs of pollution are internalized, the best business decision comes into alignment with the best environmental decision.”

–Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics, p.179

“Anything you learn to do for yourself or for other people, without paying for it; any utilization of recycled or discarded materials; anything you make instead of buy, give instead of sell; any new skill or new song or new art you teach yourself or another will reduce the dominion of money and grow a gift economy to sustain us through the coming transition.”

–Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics, p.140

“I foresee a future in which we maintain local, regional, and global ceilings on the use of various resources.  Fishery catches, ground-water use, carbon emissions, timber harvests, topsoil depletion, and many more will be carefully monitored and held to sustainable levels.”

–Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics, p.181

“Ultimately, I envision decentralized, self-organizing, emergent, peer-to-peer, ecologically integrated expressions of political will.”

–Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics, p.187

“I have been gratified to discover, in my interaction with people from all parts of the political spectrum, a near-universal reverence for community, for nature, and for the beautiful products of human culture.  Around these common values, which political language tends to obfuscate by superimposing divisions atop our common humanity, the currency of sacred economy will emerge.”

–Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics, p.186

“Armed struggle seems to be for now a self-defeating prospect. However, what anarchists may consider in this speculative context is the possibility of creating the appropriate conditions for its success.… The strategic outlook already prevalent among anarchists is that the road to revolution involves the proliferation of urban and rural projects of sustainable living, community-building and the development of skills and infrastructures. But while this is usually couched in terms of ‘hollowing out’ capitalism, it can also be considered as the creation of a sustainable social base for more militant activity, up to (possibly) insurrection. In such a situation, armed struggle would be undertaken, not by isolated groups of desperadoes, but by communities which have already carved out a significant space of autonomy within hierarchical society.”

–Uri Gordon, Anarchy Alive! Anti-Authoritarian Politics from Practice to Theory, p107-108

 

 

“Not only must we stop celebrating greed (and enabling it to run rampant through our policy choices), we also have to provide supports for pro-social cooperative behaviors that embody the altruistic and compassionate aspects of human nature that are expressed through the remaining 99% of us.

A sketch of the solution might look like this

Gather together the best knowledge we have about human nature — as it emerges from the cognitive and social sciences — to inform the design of institutional policy, legislation, incentive structures, and regulatory bodies.  Employ it to critique long-standing assumptions about economic behavior and political power.

Diagnose the current global economy to reveal pathways where psychopathic tendencies are expressed.  Target these areas for policy reform as a “damage control” measure while engaging in broader debate about how to build replacement structures.

Create policy-development frameworks that promote cooperative behavior amongst people and with the broader environments on which we depend for our survival.  This includes new metrics of success (e.g. replace Gross Domestic Product with more systematic measures like General Progress Indicators or Gross National Happiness), greater investments in societal infrastructure (e.g. public education, medical research, Earth monitoring systems, etc.) that enable us to integrate our increasingly sophisticated knowledge about global change into the management of social and economic systems.

Introduce incentive systems (with clearly defined and enforceable punitive measures) that enable our psychopaths to participate in society in a more beneficial and less disruptive manner.  We need to recognize that people with these behavioral tendencies will likely always be part of the societal mix.  Helping them find ways to participate as productive members of society will go a long way towards containing the harms they might produce and promoting social cohesion across our pluralistic societies where past harms remain to be fully healed.

I have intentionally set out these parameters at a broad conceptual level because this topic is too nuanced and complex for any one person to hold all the answers.  Hopefully what I’ve written here will encourage you to think more deeply about what is happening in the world — and what role(s) you might fill in helping to create a new economic system that serves us all.  It is safe to assume that I’ve made significant omissions and that much more needs to be brought into the conversation before we can begin to implement the solutions I recommend or any others which improve upon them.

For now, it is my hope that the ideas presented here create new insights for us as we struggle to articulate the path beyond the political impasse that has stalled action on financial reform and climate change in recent years.  Perhaps these thoughts will also inform our next steps as we ponder how to improve upon the Occupy Movement and Arab Spring of 2011 to elevate and meld together the social movements of the world into a coherent new economic and political system capable of delivering complex outcomes for our interconnected and rapidly changing world.”

–Joe Brewer, How Will the 99% Deal with 70 Million Psychopaths?

 

empowered

if only for the moment, i do feel empowered.  i feel at peace in my body.  i feel grounded and centered.  for whatever reason.  it doesn’t matter why.

there’s a book on its way in the mail.  one that i’ve wanted to read for some time now.  I feel content with my coffee and cigarettes.  no beer, no wine, no liquor, no drugs.  music and books.  music and books.  coffee, cigarettes, music, books.

to be able to make music that moves me and learn about what interests me are indispensable freedoms.  priceless privileges.

apocalyptic whirlwind depression

if i’ve failed more miserably at being a human being than anyone, then perhaps in a sense i’ve attained a level of humanness nobody else has.  that is to say, if our imperfections and our mistakes are what make us human, if our shortcomings and our failures are what make us human, then i am as human as it gets.

does anyone else have such an incredibly lacking sex life?  social life?  i feel pitiful.  pathetic.  i feel like i don’t belong.  like i almost can’t talk to people i don’t know.  i feel like an outsider.  a weirdo.  i can’t even compensate for it with some kind of substantial knowledge or meaningful involvement in the world.

all i seem to have going for me is that i am sensitive and i don’t even know if that counts as a good quality.  i’m emotionally intelligent.  insightful.  that’s about it.  what am i supposed to do with that?  it certainly isn’t going to get me laid.  i’m a waste of good looks.  i know nothing about the world.  i can understand and get along with people but i’m also shy and awkward and introverted.

evidently i have low self-esteem and am largely preoccupied with my insecurities.