A lot of people complain about the problems in todayâ€™s world. Not a lot of people spend their time articulating their own comprehensive vision for how the world could and should be if weâ€™d live up to the best of our human potential. Since my last entry pretty much raged about how we should do something positive and revolutionary, Iâ€™ve decided to re-articulate some of the general principles or practices I have in mind when I talk about revolution.
To be honest, I’ve been fending off depression and despair all day today. I’m broke, I’m tired, I’m alone, and none of those are going to change tonight. But tomorrow is another day, with a few clear glimmers of hope on the horizon. And now that I’m actually sitting down and writing this entry, I can feel my spirits lifting at the prospect of actually talking about a lot of what I truly value in life.
I could try to weave this all into some sort of complex theoretical structure, but that tends to get boring sometimes, even for ME… 🙂 So I’d rather just talk about it, point by point.
You may find some of these points offensive or objectionable. You may find some of them silly. You may find some of them pointless. But hopefully we can agree to disagree, because I’m sure that we have SOMETHING in common, and we can work together on whatever that something may be.
Therefore, let me say that I feel that the world would be a better place, and our deepest human potentials would be realized, if many or all of the following came to pass:
* Free Cooperation. This is an overarching theme of all of these points. I believe that as individuals, we have the right to be completely free â€“ and as members of the human community, we have a responsibility to cooperate with others rather than inhibiting their freedom by exploiting or harming them. Basically, I have infinite personal freedom, and my infinite personal freedom ends where any harm to others begins.
* Permaculture. We need to stop destroying our planet’s living systems. The only way to do this in the long-term is by working in harmony with ecological principles rather than against them. On one level, it’s simply a no brainer requirement for our continued survival. Play by the rules of life, or the game is over. On another level, it’s an ethical question â€“ do I respect other life, or do I exploit and destroy it?
* Gender, Sex, and Sexuality. This ties together feminism, queer theory, and other related perspectives on gender. Gender is our personal or cultural identity â€“ our sense of who we are, whether it be purely internal or socially constructed, with terms such as â€œmasculineâ€ or â€œfeminineâ€ or â€œmanlyâ€ or â€œgirly.â€ Sex is our biology â€“ male, female, intersex. Sexuality is our desired sexual activity â€“ heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, and beyond. Most of the issues we face here fall under the â€œfreeâ€ portion of free cooperation. People must be free to embrace whatever gender identity, biological sex, and sexuality they feel defines them. This includes many things such as gay marriage, cross dressing, nudism/naturism, polyamory, and beyond. These can be seen as separate issues, but I see them all as freedom issues. People should have limitless freedom to express themselves in these ways, as long as they’re not interfering with your freedom to express your own gender, sex, and sexuality. If any of the above is against your moral beliefs, then don’t practice it â€“ but stay the fuck out of the way of people’s free right to do so for themselves. [And while you’re at it, ask your deity of choice why he’s so eager to control people’s sexuality.] If you want practical details about how this would translate into law and policy, ask me.
* Science and Consciousness. I won’t really get into this one right now, but I believe that human consciousness is the most powerful force for powerful transformation that currently exists on this planet. I believe that there is so much left unexplored that still needs to be explored. Instead of spending billions on developing weapons or smearing competing politicians, we should be funding programs such as research into energy healing [see below] and advanced human cognition.
* Health and Wellness. Sickness is probably inevitable â€“ but I’ll be bold and say that 90+% of illness that exists today could be cured in a single generation if we simply chose to (A) live differently and (B) dismantle economic and political structures that keep people in poverty. Complimentary and alternative therapies have the power to treat and prevent so many human illnesses that it’s absurd for us to continue ignoring them. The best cure to diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and many emotional/mental health disorders is prevention â€“ and that would be possible for the majority of people if we simply took the knowledge that we already have and applied it across the board. Preventable sickness is destructive of our freedom; therefore, any corporation or government that stands in the way of public health is an enemy of freedom and must be dealt with accordingly. This includes marketing corporations, media corporations, junk food distributors, fast food chains, governments that embrace anti-poor and anti-health-care policies, and others. In a better world, we would make it infinitely easier for people to be healthy than it is currently. They would still be free to choose otherwise, of course… but at least they would understand their options, and have access to the best health information and services available.
* Race. Let’s face it — racism is dumb, and racists need to stop their idiotic discrimination and race wars. I reject â€œwhite supremacyâ€ and openly speak out against racism of all kinds. I also openly support movements such as the Black Power movement and Indigenous Rights movement where cultural groups that have traditionally been targeted by racists seek to establish and celebrate their own identity and power independent of white authority or other racist authority. I understand that people can be really fond of their own cultures, and that they may like embracing those cultures. Sometimes, this is a great way to celebrate diversity. But sometimes, cultural identity movements lead people to think that their Culture and/or Race is Superior to all others. Well, that’s frankly just baloney, and it’s usually just an excuse for people in power to get more power. We’re all individuals, and trying to put people down because of their â€œraceâ€ is both absurd and horrific. In a better world, we’ll see each person as an individual, and each culture will be celebrated and explored rather than being used as a tool for division and domination.
* Ability. People should be honored and respected for who they are and what they can do, not discriminated against because of what they supposedly can’t do. Granted, some jobs require some physical or mental abilities that an individual may not have. But if there’s any way for them to do the same tasks in their own way, then they should be treated equally and fairly. In a better world, everyone would be supported in doing what they choose to do, and not viewed through the lens of an ability that they may not possess.
* Economics and Class. This is where the â€œcooperationâ€ aspect of free cooperation comes into play. I believe in a social economy, which means I believe that we should secure our survival and make major economic decisions through social cooperation rather than competition. I don’t believe that we can own the land any more than we can own the water or the air. And I don’t believe that having The State own everything is much better than having The Corporation own everything. We need to think of ownership itself differently than we do now… which can get pretty complex, but not nearly as convoluted as the global banking system that exists today. [Currency speculation? Futures markets? How much cocaine are those jokers on Wall Street snorting in order to believe that such things actually make real-world sense?]
* Worker’s Rights. This relates strongly to the above. Many of the people who make your clothes, make and serve your food, and so on were not paid a living wage for their work. Some of them may live in terrible conditions and suffer abuse in the workplace because their employer is trying to maximize profit. Take the time to learn about where your products come from, whether they be food or clothes or electronics or beyond. Choose to support Fair Trade and other programs that ensure that your products are made by people who are duly compensated for their work. In a better world, the workers themselves would run the workplace, thus ensuring that they were treated fairly.
* Non-Violence and Peace. I’m not a complete pacifist. If you walk into my home and attempt to harm me or my loved ones, I will stop you with whatever force is necessary. But there’s a big difference between personal self-defense and the political mass violence of war. War is an organized campaign of violence that has no place in a sane world. We won’t end it by blowing people up… we’ll only end it by swaying the hearts and minds of the world into acceptance of peace as a core value. And if anyone thinks that we can only sway hearts and minds through the use of violence, then I understand and honor their perspective, but insist that there are other ways which I would be willing to discuss at length.
* Animal Rights. Animals are living beings, many if not all of whom can feel and suffer much like we do. I’ve currently fallen back on eating dairy products because it’s the only way I’ve found at my disposal to maintain body mass while I tend to my adrenal health concerns. But I do still advocate veganism for people who are open to it, and more humane food and clothing options for the people who insist on animal products. Unless your dairy and meat foods specifically say that the animals were free-range and humanely treated, you can be sure that animals suffered greatly to bring you your meal. In a better world, animal product use would be greatly diminished, and animal suffering as it exists in factory farms and similar places would be eliminated. If you want to eat an animal, you can either hunt it yourself or get it from someone who treated it as humanely as possible. [And dairy equals meat, at least in today’s factory farm system. If you’re eating from most dairy sources, animals are dying for your food. Ask me for details if you don’t believe me.]
This has been an incredibly long message for a blog entry…but what’s ironic is that this is all only the tip of the iceberg. Each of these issues has greater depth, and there are more issues left untouched. BUT… to make a long story short, let me sum it up in a single sentence:
I envision a world of free cooperation; a world where permaculture guides our design of living systems; where people of all genders, sexes, and sexualities are free to discover and be who they truly are; where we explore human consciousness to the fullest of its potential; where we are healthier and happier through the benefits of holistic health practices; where we celebrate our ethnic diversity rather than seeing it as a division; where people of all abilities are honored for what they can do instead of limited by what they can’t; where cooperation rather than competition is the basis of our economy; where the workers of the world share fully in the fruits of their own labor; where peace and non-violence are our greatest goal in resolving conflicts; and where all other beings on this planet are seen as valuable and treated with respect and compassion.
Long sentence, eh? Leave it to a philosopher-poet to try to pack all of that into a single sentence… 😉 But seriously… that should give some small inkling of what I believe, and why I believe it’s important. Just talking about it all is more than enough to fill me with renewed energy even at 1:33 in the morning… I really want these good things and more to happen, and I’m willing to work toward these goals, even if I will never see the fruits of such labor in this lifetime. [Freedom of religion, too… I’ll put that one in the next list, eh?]
It’s a long road ahead. Sadly, I’d say that on most fronts described ahead, we have a ton of work ahead of us. But the good news is that we stand on the shoulders of giants who have struggled to further these revolutionary causes since time immemorial. All that remains for us is to finish the job, if we so choose…
If you’ve made it all the way to the end of this message, I’m truly impressed. 🙂 Let me know what you think about all of this… and don’t pull any punches here! Let me know how you REALLY feel…