Land and Freedom, by Seaweed

An Open Invitation

A habitat is a territory that provides sources of water and food as well as reliable sources of materials for shelter and heat. Typically it is where you first made love, learned to swim, caught your first fish, and perhaps even fought a battle against a belligerent neighboring group. Practically everybody in your community knows the names of the flora and fauna of your habitat, where the berries are, when the birds leave and return. Most inhabitants feel a kinship with the totality of your habitat, not only its flora and fauna, but its weather patterns, rocks, streams and mountains, its unique smells and sounds and the various combinations of them that make the singular music of your home.

Urban civilization obviously won’t fail because of the actions of a minority of eco-activists and indigenous traditionalists. However it is possible that a majority of those repulsed by the destructive basis of civilization will become anti-authoritarian fighters dedicated to creating a world of ecological communities, each success along the way a revitalising inspiration. If enough of the population participates a critical point will be reached where the drive of our collective push toward kinship with our surroundings will become unstoppable.

Revolution is not everywhere or nowhere. Any region can be liberated through a succession of actions, events and strategies based on the conditions unique to it, as the grip of civilization in that area weakens through its own volition or through the efforts of its inhabitants. It would benefit these liberated regions to form alliances or meld in some way, but they might not choose to do so.

It is up to each of us to look for the weak points and the vital points of our opponent’s armor within our geographical area and to strike them. It is not true that until all humans are free none are free. But it is true that none are free until all are free within the same place. And it is enraging and sad that some might enjoy freedom and authentic community while others don’t. It is this sense of solidarity with others, our refusal to be atomized, that compels us to spread our freedom.

Civilization didn’t succeed everywhere at once, so its undoing might only occur to varying degrees in different places at different times. In any case the process of domestication is an ongoing one. Once it succeeds in colonizing any given area civilization isn’t inherently permanent. Its continuance relies on our belief in its superiority, our submission to its authority and on our failure to have successful insurgencies.

Unfortunately civilization is a march toward death. Just to ensure that some diversity of life will endure the brakes must soon be put on the mega machines seemingly unstoppable, out-of-control locomotive of catastrophes.

The captivity of the civilized must be kept up on a daily basis otherwise we’d be constantly organizing and revolting. Coercive authority relies on entertainment (tourism, drugs, television, etc.), ideologies (Marxism, religion, science, etc.) propaganda (schools, mass media, etc.) and repression to keep us dumb and scared. Many of us who recognize that something is deeply wrong don’t fight back primarily, I believe, because of feelings of isolation and poverty as well as fear of retribution from the repressive apparatus of political power (police, military, courts, jails, etc.).

While the rule of capital and centralized power might seem omniscient, they actually aren’t. There is a totality of domination but the totality is not yet dominated. There are many psychic and geographical blind spots, openings, frontiers where the sentinels and soldiers are few or at least fewer. We can take advantage of these. Our struggle for individual and collective freedom isn’t pointless or hopeless or so overwhelming as to make total surrender appear reasonable and inevitable.

For instance, because so much of our captivity relies on internalized cops, on the daily reproduction of social misery by our own compliance with the various roles expected of us (worker, citizen, soldier, intellectual, consumer, activist, artist, man, woman, etc.), the weakest point in our opponents armor is probably our ability to refuse fulfilling these expectations of predictable behavior. It is through withdrawal from scripted roles and cultural constructs that we will get to know our neighbors and comrades, indeed ourselves, in a more honest light, revealing our true complexity as individuals. and thereby be more able to create the communities of resistance that would be helpful in order to form the bases of our offensives. It also means attempting to collectively withdraw from our participation in the institutions and behaviours of capitalist civilization: entertainment, schooling, dependence on welfare states, wage work rather than subsistence skills and self-reliance, electoralism and other forms of representation, etc.

Continue reading “Land and Freedom, by Seaweed”

saving forests = saving animals

Recently, the United Nations celebrated International Day of Forests, bringing awareness to the alarming rate at which the most biologically diverse ecosystems on land (home to more than 80 percent of the terrestrial species of animals, plants, and insects) are being destroyed. Between 1990 and 2005, net forest loss in Africa was about 300,000 square […]

via Why Saving Our Forests Means Saving the Future For Animals – and Us | One Green Planet — Life or Lunch?

Preface from Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm by C. David Coates

 

Isn’t man an amazing animal? He kills wildlife by the millions in order to protect his domestic animals and their feed. Then he kills domestic animals by the billions and eats them. This in turn kills man by the millions, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative – and fatal – health conditions like heart desease, kidney disease, and cancer. So then man tortures and kills millions more animals to look for cures for these deseases. Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals. Meanwhile, some people are dying of sad laughter at the absurdity of man, who kills so easily and so violently, and once a year sends out cards praying for “Peace on Earth”.

…Heal from Civilization Disease

  1. Move: Our bodies are meant to move. Dance, running, qigong, hiking, yoga, martial arts, traveling in a moving vehicle, all fulfill something in us. Movement makes us stronger, fitter, happier, more resilient, more agile. It opens us.
  2. Play: By this I mean having fun without pressure, competition, rules or deliberate purpose. Play relaxes us, fuels our imagination and creativity, makes us more aware and present, and increases our capacity to learn, to relate, to adapt and to be kind to each other, and to just be.
  3. Have Sex: Including solo sex. Sex, and the cocktail of chemicals it releases, heals us, both as a stressbuster and as a form of meditation. It’s important that it not be used as a form of abuse of our partners, and important not to feel guilty about indulging in it, no matter how the social norms of the day judge it. It’s also important, I think, that it not be too tied up in unrealizable fantasy, when it becomes disconnecting instead of connecting. But beyond that, the more, and the longer, the better.
  4. Touch: Massage, hugs, caresses, sleeping together, all kinds of physical contact are good for us. Touch releases many of the same chemicals that sex does, and some additional ones too. It is essential to forming deep relationships and building trust, and establishing our sense of who we are.
  5. Dive into Water: Both the feel and the sound of water, whether it be from a bubble bath, a hot tub, or an ocean, connects us to where we intuitively feel we belong. We lived in water, after all, before we were born. Our bodies are mostly water. Loren Eiseley once described the body as “a way that water has of going about, beyond the reach of rivers.”
  6. Bathe in Warmth and Light: You’ve probably noticed how animals gravitate to sun patches (and even heating vents) as a place to sleep. We intuitively love the healing warmth of a heating pad, a hot water bottle, and the sun. The energy of sunlight and moonlight and lamplight can fill us with resonant emotion: joy and wonder and a sense of calmness and peace….
Ten Ways to Heal from Civilization Disease

The Language of Pinyon-Juniper Trees

Will Falk / Deep Green Resistance Great Basin

Pinyon cones Photo by Katie Fite

After two months of struggling to write anything coherent about pinyon-juniper forests, I was on the verge of giving up.Members of the group I am campaigning with to stop pinyon-juniper deforestation began brainstorming about applying for grants to support the campaign. Many of the grants they discovered required us to demonstrate that pinyon-juniper deforestation harmed wildlife populations, poisoned water supplies, or had a tangible effect on human populations.

Thinking that I could support our grant application process with an essay, I sat down many times to write about the countless beings that call pinyon-juniper forests home. But, I never wrote anything worth reading.

It took me a long time to figure out why.

The principles of ecology certainly teach us that countless beings face extinction if their habitats are destroyed. Every species must be fought for, especially when 200 species a day on average are going extinct globally. I figured that linking the fate of pinyon-juniper forests to the fates of cute porcupines, for example, would be a good way to build support for the forests.

So, I set out to learn about the species living in pinyon-juniper forests with an eye for species that would pique human interest.

 

Continue reading “The Language of Pinyon-Juniper Trees”