Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rebél Against The Empire

Rebél Against the Empire
by Thomas H. Naylor article link
November 1, 2009

"What are the people of Germany doing? Sleeping. Their sleep is filled with nightmares and anxiety, but they are sleeping. We have awaited their awakening for so long, yet they continue to remain stolid, stubborn, and silent as to the crimes committed in their names, as if the entire world and its own destiny had become alien to them. All agree: the German people slumber on amid the twilight of their gods. They do not love liberty, because they hate criticism. That is why they are sleeping today."

Albert Camus
September 17, 1944

Albert Camus’s insightful description of life in Nazi Germany, which appeared in the clandestine Resistance newspaper Combat a few weeks after the Liberation of Paris, could just as well have been written about life in the United States today. Not unlike the people of Nazi Germany, the American people are also asleep.

We have slept through the annihilation of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine, a war with Islam, the rendition of terrorist suspects, prisoner abuse and torture, the suppression of civil liberties, citizen surveillance, corporate greed, pandering to the rich and powerful, global warming, full spectrum dominance, imperial overstretch, and a culture of deceit. Massive military spending, multi-trillion dollar deficits and Wall Street bailouts, mounting trade deficits, and a precipitous decline in the value of the dollar have gone virtually unnoticed.

During our long period of slumber the United States government has lost its moral authority. It is owned, operated, and controlled by Wall Street and Corporate America. The United States has become ungovernable, unfixable, and, therefore, unsustainable economically, politically, militarily, and environmentally. It has evolved into the wealthiest, most powerful, most materialistic, most racist, most militaristic, most violent empire of all times.

While claiming to be individualists, we behave as world-class conformists. We think the same, share many of the same religious beliefs, vote the same, watch the same TV programs, visit the same websites, and buy the same low-priced Chinese plastic yuck from Wal-Mart. “All the women are strong, the men are all good looking, and all the children are above average,” just as they are in Garrison Keillor’s mythical Lake Wobegon. And we all pretend to be happy. But is it really true?

Even though we spend $8 trillion annually on consumer goods and services, $2 trillion of which is for health care, and billions more on spiritual gurus and religious shaman, are we as happy as we pretend to be? I think not, because what we are up against is the human condition, God’s gift to us in the Garden of Eden from which there is no escape – separation, meaninglessness, powerlessness, and death. Not a pretty sight. Our feel-good religious leaders to whom we turn for spiritual solace try unsuccessfully to sugarcoat it. French existentialist Albert Camus called it absurd.

Unfortunately, the American Empire itself is a metaphor for the human condition. Tens of millions are drawn to the Empire in search of a refuge from the human condition only to discover that the Empire is an integral part of the problem, not the solution.

What are our options in terms of possible responses to the existential angst produced by the human condition? Escape, denial, engagement, and confrontation.

First, we may escape the human condition altogether through suicide. We may choose death and nothingness now over the pain and suffering associated with separation, meaninglessness, powerlessness, and fear of eventual death.

Second, we may deny the human condition through a life based on having—owning, possessing, manipulating, and controlling people, power, money, machines, and material wealth. Through having we try to find security and certainty in an otherwise uncertain world. Our compulsive desire to have leads to affluenza, technomania, e-mania, megalomania, robotism, globalization, and imperialism. Some call it technofascism. It often leads us to the arms of the Empire in search of a safe haven which turns out to be illusory.

Third, we may choose to engage the human condition through being—by our creations, our personal relationships, our spirituality, our sense of community, and our stand towards pain, suffering and death. So-called simple living is a popular form of being. But if the world is going to hell in a handbasket, for how long can a life based only on being allay our angst?

Fourth, we may confront the human condition and peacefully rebél against the money, power, speed, greed, and size of the icons of the Empire—the White House, the Congress, the Pentagon, Wall Street, the Internet, Fox News, Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, as well as the churches, schools, and universities which suck up to them.

Rebél is a philosophy of rebellion. It provides us with the faith to claw meaning out of meaninglessness, the energy to connect with those from whom we are separate, the power to surmount powerlessness, and the strength to face death rather than deny it. Since the word rebel has more than one meaning, we use Rebél to connote resistance to authority and control.

Two rebels are our role models—Jesus Christ and Albert Camus. One was thought to have been the son of God, the Messiah, the other a French agnostic. One offered a message of hope, the other admonished us to “live only with what we know.” Both had an uncanny grasp of the human condition and an unwavering predisposition towards nonviolent rebellion against it. Somewhat surprisingly, the Holy Bible turns out to be one of the best handbooks a rebel can read whether one be an atheist, an agnostic, or a believer.

If life is absurd, is there any reason to believe that tomorrow or the day after will be any different from yesterday or the day before, as in the movie Ground Hog Day starring Bill Murray? Even though no cosmic source of meaning has been revealed to us, we find ourselves drawn to Camus’s idea that the purpose of life is to die happy and that the path to a happy death leads straight to rebellion.

Therefore, rebél against the human condition and the Empire, live life to the fullest, and try to die happy by mindfully defining your personal legacy, which some call your soul.

But Rebél is not for everyone, particularly not the faint of heart, for it offers no spiritual elixir or magic potion to relieve our existential pain. It is neither a fire insurance policy against hell, nor a ticket to heaven. It is not a touchy-feely, self-help, feel-good, be-happy philosophy promising pie-in-the-sky to its adherents. Religious fundamentalists, pacifists, and those in search of a spiritual nirvana are not likely to be drawn to Rebél. Although it may not be what we learned in Sunday School, it surely beats nothingness.

Rebél is about the peaceful denunciation, demystification, and defiance of the tyranny of ciphers, which psychiatrist M. Scott Peck called people of the lie. Its radical imperative involves disengagement, decryption, decentralization, downsizing, and dissolution.

In the meantime,

Thomas H. Naylor

Copyright © 2009 Second Vermont Republic
The Second Vermont Republic home page
The Second Vermont Republic is a nonviolent citizens' network and think tank opposed to the tyranny of Corporate America and the U.S. government, and committed to the peaceful return of Vermont to its status as an independent republic and more broadly the dissolution of the Union.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Revolution: The Wrong Kind and the Right Kind

Revolution: The Wrong Kind and the Right Kind
By Carolyn Baker article link
July 16 2010 | OpEdNews

Lately I've been encountering articles and news stories touting the need for revolution in the wake of a gansterized U.S. financial system and a government that has itself become a criminal enterprise. I sense that many bloggers and their readers are salivating with anticipation that someone or something will light the fuse of a revolutionary cannon that will eviscerate the present system and replace it with something more just and humane.

I share their enthusiasm for profound, bone-marrow transformation of the status quo. Jefferson really was right when he proclaimed that the United States needed a revolution every twenty years. Many of us who were activists during the Vietnam War era were determined to pull off a revolution that would destroy the military industrial complex, institutionalized racism, and the entire capitalist agenda.

Today's visionaries and activists cherish similar hopes, yet I fear that they do not yet grasp the kind of revolution that the planet seems to be asking for. And unlike the revolution we envisioned four decades ago, this one must be in response to the planet and the earth community. From this perspective, I believe there are two kinds of revolution in front of us: The kind that is inappropriate and the kind that is both useful and critical for planetary survival.

Inappropriate Revolutions

The most truly inappropriate revolution would be one based on false assumptions, principally, the notion that political change on a grand scale is meaningful. Pundits of this kind of revolution include all cheerleaders for the Democratic Party and all others who champion the Progressive, left-liberal landscape. These folks are currently obsessing about the November election and agonizing over Tea Party cacophonies. From this perspective, if the far-right were resoundingly defeated by the election of liberal candidates, the nation might be spared from spiraling downward into fascism.

Other well-meaning but naïve proponents of revolution argue that social upheaval and more people in the streets will signal enough distress among the population to provide fertile ground for a political and cultural revolution. While not directly advocating the overthrow of the federal government, these individuals are poised to organize and assume positions of leadership should sufficient unrest unfold.

Inappropriate revolutions tend to focus on widespread global (whether literal or symbolic) measures that will result in mass consciousness raising, mass movements, and mass political and cultural change. This philosophy mirrors "bigger is better" and assumes that significant change only happens when society at large is involved. Models of this kind of revolution in the modern era would be ones such as the Russian Revolution, the Maoist revolution in China, and the Cuban Revolution.

Such revolutions rarely address the emotional and spiritual aspects of social change because for the most part, the possibility that any force greater than the human mind and ego exists is rejected out of hand. A revolution operating from this assumption is by definition, human-centric. Whereas political revolutions may include individuals who care deeply about the ecosystems and argue passionately for stewardship of the earth, their agenda is not fundamentally informed by the earth. Man is still the measure of all things and therefore, given the desired political context, humans can reverse their species' destruction of the planet and engineer something approximating utopia.

So what is an appropriate revolution? And appropriate to what, you may ask.

Appropriate Revolutions

An appropriate revolution is one that is relevant to what is actually needed in the light of human and planetary evolution. It is not primarily political but rather informed by what the earth community is asking for. For example, the earth is not asking for more efficient and accessible healthcare. Rather, it is asking that humans live in such conscious intimacy with the earth that nearly all of humanity's diseases and injuries are prevented as a result of that relationship.

Likewise, the earth is not asking for renewable energy but a cellular level transformation of consciousness regarding how we live on the earth-how we eat, what we wear, the products we use, where we live, where we travel and how.

The earth is not asking for jobs, but rather a painfully honest examination of our purpose in walking on her body in terms of the work that is most beneficial for her and all species that inhabit the planet.

The earth is asking, no pleading, for inhabitants who are willing and eager to live and relate locally in small communities, cooperating with neighbors to replenish what has been stolen from the earth and to enhance the well being of all species.

In his essay, "A Revolution That Is Arising From The Earth", William Kotke states:

We who can read these words are civilized people who have been mentally conditioned by the culture of civilization and the industrial society from birth. We have precepts loaded into our subconscious minds which cause us to see reality in a certain way. To a native Maya person in the State of Chiapas, Mexico, the earth speaks through them. They live integrated with the earth in their everyday energy systems and in their mental attitudes. To them the fact that the earthlife has manifest these living things around us, and us, means that we are children of the Mother Earth and we speak as one of the voices of the earth. To the Maya this is obvious on a deep level. To us it is an interesting intellectual proposition only, because we have been conditioned by a cultural upbringing that filters out this deep understanding and we do not mentally link our life with the life of the living earth.

To the Maya security is the earth and its care. The Maya live with the earth and feed from its natural bounty. Historically for a million years our species has been very successful. We have been adapted to the earth life. We lived within the ecological web and energy flows of the earth. Our traditional migratory patterns carried us over our gathering areas. In the season when the game were fat in one place we went there, when the berries were ripe in another we went there. Our success was adaptation to the life of the earth. We also had a culture that respected the earth and living things. The proposition is simple. We are alive, we live because of the other living things which feed us, we are obligated to respect and encourage those other living things so that we too can live.

In order for these indicators of an appropriate revolution to be actualized, a new kind of human must emerge-a new species with conscious self-awareness that knows-not thinks or feels-that it is not "in harmony" with the earth, but that it is the earth. This knowledge can only be acquired if our species is willing to experience, not theorize, that it originated from something greater and emerged on this planet for the purpose of serving something greater in order to perpetuate its values throughout the earth community and for countless generations in the future.

This revolution has already begun and manifests itself in the mission and work of organizations like TransitionBusiness Alliance of Local Economies (BALLE), and the permaculture movement. These organizations are about much more than growing organic gardens. One of their principal functions is the revolutionizing of how money works-a revolution without which fundamental change is impossible. They are creating self-sufficiency and resilience in neighborhoods and local communities, both of which may serve as mainstays in the event of infrastructure collapse, food and water shortages, natural disasters, economic devastation, and loss of essential services.

The localization efforts of organizations such as these have far more implications than mere "emergency response" preparation. They will eventually become the new normal as the collapse of industrial civilization exacerbates. The sooner these systems become firmly in place, the more resilient their citizens will be in navigating a world that in a couple of decades may be unrecognizable by current standards. They have evolved not merely out of vision and ingenuity but out of a palpable sense that a new humanity is in the process of emerging-a humanity that functions optimally not in a global economy or through mass consciousness raising, but through networking and smallness of scale.

So with those who argue that a revolution is desperately needed, I would heartily agree-with the caveat that it must be an appropriate one, skillfully moving in response to the earth and the evolutionary threshold on which humans stand. It must focus on building vibrant and discerning communities who will keep ears and hearts to the ground, listening for what the earth is asking of them.

In closing this piece, I must notice that three years ago on the Speaking Truth to Power website, I wrote in depth about the fallacy of placing confidence in Barack Obama as the candidate who would "revolutionize" the United States. I was called cynical, narrow-minded, and hopelessly pessimistic. Three years later I am hard-pressed to find anyone who is enthusiastic about the record of President Obama or the likelihood that if he has a clue about anything, he would actually abdicate his Goldman-Sachs designed throne and implement the platform of "change" on which he ran for office. Even if he were to do so, there is no money for such an agenda, and a cataclysmic Gulf Oil disaster has become an unimaginable game-changer.

All of this only validates my premise that local action, self-sufficiency, and taking charge of issues in one's community are the essential ingredients of revolutionary change rather than dependence on a distant President and Congress, bought and orchestrated by the very system that is annihilating the earth community. Do not take my word for it. Research for yourself what the three organizations mentioned above have accomplished in the last three years. If you still insist on calling me cynical, I would argue that the definition of that word completely escapes you.

Carolyn Baker, Ph.D., is the author of Sacred Demise: Walking The Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization's Collapse (2009 IUniverse) and manages her website Speaking Truth to Power. She is also the author of U.S. History Uncensored: What Your High School Textbook Didn't Tell You (2006). She may be contacted at her site.

OpEdNews articles by Carolyn Baker
OpEdNews home page


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Revolution That Is Arising From The Earth

The Revolution That Is Arising From THE EARTH
by William H. Kötke article link

The planetary elite are compelled to continue on their path of growth leading toward planetary domination. The international bankers through their control of the industrial world’s privately owned central banks maintain a tether on the money system through their control of the U.S. dollar as the currency of international trade. One important mechanism that allows this is that the largest item in international trade - oil - is sold in dollars. In order to insure the continuance of the dollar economy, they must be able to choose which currency oil is sold for or control the oil - or both. The center of the empire, the U.S., is maintained by debt as the petrodollars and other dollars come into the U.S. at the rate of at least two and a half billion per day (purchasing U.S. government bonds) in order to continue the cycle, which keeps the empire and its military power expanding As the elite carry out their strategies of domination they are racing against time. The monster trends of Peak Oil and energy exhaustion, climate change which will severely disrupt the seasons of growth in the food supply system, the weakness of the dollar and ecological collapse are pursuing them. An exponentially growing world population with growing material consumption based on dwindling resources and a dying planet won’t work, but they have no other option to maintain their power and profit.

Seeds of Change

As the industrial system spins toward exhaustion, seeds of change are sprouting at the base. The people at the base are not revolting in order to take the power that the elite have but are revolting to take power over their own lives. In Argentina, after the Neoliberal apparatchniks collapsed the economy and devastated the middle class leaving massive unemployment, the workers began to take over the factories and run them themselves, with all employees receiving the same wage. The great documentary, The Take, details the story of one factory take-over by the employees against a background of over two hundred factory take-overs. Earlier, the people at the base had begun to move when the courageous “The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo” began to organize and demonstrate. These were women who had family members disappeared and were demonstrating in the face of a vicious fascist military dictatorship which is estimated to have murdered at least thirty thousand people. The courage of the mothers was an important factor in bringing down the fascists and spreading courage and inspiration to the working people.

The economy had crashed under the military dictatorship and then after electoral politics was reorganized, the economy revived to some extent and then it crashed again under the auspices of the Neolibs in the IMF and World Bank. President Carlos Menem who had acquiesced to them was tagged as the culprit.

In the final scenes of the documentary, The Take, Menem had gone down in disgrace and a new election was being prepared. Suddenly, the new factory worker/owners saw that the political class had gone down to central casting and thrown up a slate of the same tired old political characters. Even Menem ran again, though Nestor Kirchner won.

When the film makers questioned the worker/owners about this they symbolically shrugged their shoulders. The machinations of electoral politics preformed by the political/financial class had become only marginally relevant to them. They had taken power in their neighborhoods, on the factory floor and in the head office.

The Mondragon Cooperatives

The Basque people exist in Northern Spain, centered in the Pyrenees mountains. Their culture and population exist partly in France and partly in Spain. They are an ancient people and one of only several peoples of Europe who have a language that is not Indo-European, the grain eating patriarch herders who invaded Europe from Central Asia thousands of years ago. The Basque culture, centered in the mountains, is land - based in small, fertile, productive farms and hamlets. Though cities and towns have grown up in some areas, the cultural roots exist in a system in which each small farm was inherited within the family and the surname of each member of the family was the same as the ancient name of the farm. This and the manner of farming and interaction were inherited from the ancient past.

In addition to the land - based culture, the Basque in the Twentieth Century had become significant industrialists with their iron mines, industries and international trade. This was mixed with the chaos of the Spanish Civil War and the establishment of Francisco Franco as the head of the Spanish fascist state. The economic environment was not welcoming to innovation during the Franco regime as the fascist state was lead by financiers and politicians who had a foot in both realms much like in the present United States.

Nonetheless the Mondragon cooperative movement grew out of this soil. As described in the classic study, We Build The Road As We Travel, by Roy Morrison, eleven young people purchased a small bankrupt factory that produced paraffin cooking stoves. The year was 1954. Since that time the Mondragon cooperative movement has grown to tens of thousands of workers and dozens of enterprises networked together and anchored by their own bank the Caja Lboral Popular, owned by the enterprises.

Growing out of this context, the individuals are not simply farm cooperative workers, industrial workers or even bank workers but the movement has a wider and deeper reach. One of the guiding principles of the movement is equilibrio. Morrison says,

“The Mondragon cooperative system is informed by an essentially ecological consciousness. Ecology, conventionally defined as the relationship of living things to their environment, is understood here to encompass social as well as biological reality and their interaction. Today, Mondragon’s ecological consciousness is manifested not primarily through environmentalism, but through the practice of a social ecology: the pursuit of equilibrio is fundamentally connected to the basic ecological principle of diversity and unity, or, in social terms, freedom and community. Its promise is basic change that will harmonize both social life and the relationship between the social and natural worlds.”

Writer Steven Curtis Jackobs says,

“Basque leadership styles are unauthoritarian, involve consensual processes, and are aimed at harmonizing the group’s feeling for collective ends with possible suspicion and lack of trust. A neighborhood’s elected representative does not simply wield power, but builds consensus for group projects. This process often encounters problems of suspicion arising from individual and class differences. These are reflected in the relative difficulty of establishing agricultural cooperatives and point to the nonutopian nature of the Basque situation.”

Ten percent of the cash flow of the network is invested in the communities and in charitable institutions, while another principle is to maintain as little spread between the bottom wage and the top as possible. In this amazing movement from the base, coming out from under a fascist political/financial class as it did, the Mondragon cooperatives show a way to build resilient community social institutions. This social health will be valuable as we head into the future of the exhaustion of industrial society and its fragmentation.

These areas are only a portion of the movement of people at the base who are acting to protect and enhance their communities even under the trampling impact of raw industrial capitalism. India especially, has a number of home - grown movements attempting to protect and strengthen their local social fabric. One would be remiss not to mention the cooperatives of the state of Kerala in India and of the many grassroots movements that the amazing eco/feminist Vandana Shiva was been associated with and has publicized.

Beyond Oil

In 2003, Richard Heinberg published his seminal book, The Party’s Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies. His study concerns the observation that the production of crude oil will peak and then begin to decline to its end. At this point most of the oil producing countries of the world have declining production. Heinberg, who is a faculty member at New College of California, Santa Rosa campus, projects that we are now at the peak of world production of crude oil. This, as he suggests, will have immeasurable impact on the exponentially exploding world population living on oil. He also suggests that this will collapse the capitalist economies which must have growth in order to survive.

Following the publication of his book, he and others who were also following these trends have swung into action to notify the world’s populations of the impending apocalypse. Many are now involved. The flagship organization of this effort is the Post Carbon Institute, led by Julian Darley. Under the umbrella of this organization a Relocalization Network has been organized. The effort of these local groups is to examine and take action concerning the local community life support systems with the obvious view that soon the outside energy supports will decrease or stop.

With amazing speed this network has mushroomed. There are now one hundred and thirty eight community groups in twelve countries. The relocalization group in Willits, California, is one of the cutting edge points. Their project teams are assessing and taking action on all points of the community’s survival support areas. Their teams are focused on eight areas; business, culture/education, energy, food, health, shelter, transportation and water.

Each of their project team’s focus is quite comprehensive. For example the Business project team’s focus is,

"...a Sustainable Mix of Businesses in our area, Business Financing, Small Business Incubation, Finding productive uses of Waste Streams from Business (preferably as raw material for another businesses), Employment, Vocational Training, Local Market Structures, Local Currency, and Bartering Systems."

Their Food project team at this point has three areas that they work on, the Mainstreet Community Garden, the Gleaners and Brookside Farm. This year the Gleaners have collected tons of food from the local area and donated it to local charities and food banks. Their Brookside farm is in full production and a salient point there is the installation of a micro-hydro system.

We all know the numbers of the percentage of the population in the old days who were agrarian and produced food and the small percentage now who produce the food for industrial citizens. We are members of the industrial society. We purchase our survival systems with money. We do not go out to the back forty and cut some wood for our wood cookstove and heater. We are a population who’s survival systems are huge organizations that stretch to ethereal heights which we cannot see and only vaguely understand and over which we have little control. But the base is moving to protect itself and the relocalization effort offers great encouragement.

The Earth Speaks

We who can read these words are civilized people who have been mentally conditioned by the culture of civilization and the industrial society from birth. We have precepts loaded into our subconscious minds which cause us to see reality in a certain way. To a native Maya person in the State of Chiapas, Mexico, the earth speaks through them. They live integrated with the earth in their everyday energy systems and in their mental attitudes. To them the fact that the earthlife has manifest these living things around us, and us, means that we are children of the Mother Earth and we speak as one of the voices of the earth. To the Maya this is obvious on a deep level. To us it is an interesting intellectual proposition only, because we have been conditioned by a cultural upbringing that filters out this deep understanding and we do not mentally link our life with the life of the living earth.

To the Maya security is the earth and its care. The Maya live with the earth and feed from its natural bounty. Historically for a million years our species has been very successful. We have been adapted to the earth life. We lived within the ecological web and energy flows of the earth. Our traditional migratory patterns carried us over our gathering areas. In the season when the game were fat in one place we went there, when the berries were ripe in another we went there. Our success was adaptation to the life of the earth. We also had a culture that respected the earth and living things. The proposition is simple. We are alive, we live because of the other living things which feed us, we are obligated to respect and encourage those other living things so that we too can live.

Though this simple logic escapes civilization, it is obvious that we must begin to fashion a culture that has these values at the center, if our species is to survive. Our culture teaches us that wealth is the central value of human life and that wealth is our security. When we left our forager/hunter life and began agriculture, civilization and empire, we began a way of life that was not integrated with the life around us but ran a net ecological deficit of the earth’s fertility. The earth’s flesh; the topsoils, the forests, the fish stocks and the other species began to decline and recede. Thousands of years ago the effects of this culture were displayed in the early empires of Sumeria and Babylon in the Tigris-Euphrates valley. With irrigated agriculture they managed to exhaust and salinize the soils to the extent that today one third of the possible arable land in Iraq still cannot be used because of salinization caused by the early empires. With agriculture, overgrazing and deforestation, they so destroyed the land that the river borne erosion material has filled in the gulf for one hundred and eighty five miles!

Now the mouth of the river enters the ocean that far from where it did before the culture of civilization began.

The culture of the Maya of Chiapas is not like that of civilization. They are survival remnants of a culture impacted by imperial colonization. In order to protect themselves, their culture and their living world, they have risen up in resistance. In many parts of the Southern Hemisphere the indigenous at the base are arising but the EZLN, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, were the lead. The Zapatistas are anti-capitalist but no propagandist could get away with calling a Native American an industrial communist. They are more properly termed anti-civilization, Against civilization in its present form.

Chiapas is one of the richest states in Mexico in terms of industrial resources and has the poorest people. The Maya know well the effects of “civilization” - empire, war, colonization and exploitation by the elites. Against this backdrop they have begun to change some of the forms of governance of their own communities such as the role of women and the position of the elders. Women are now occupying positions of authority and the elders authority is being relegated to the sphere of traditions and culture rather than clan power in all the aspects of life.

They are creating a new kind of culture out from under the burden of colonialism. They have a culture of sharing, cooperation and care of the earth. This is being made the cultural basis of governance. They scorn the political class along with the electoral politics which is their control mechanism. The Zapatistas control from the base through community meetings. Theirs is a culture of human community rather than social isolates in mass industrial society who vote periodically for a list of names. They have power over the way of life of their community rather than voting on someone in a far-off parliament.

In their areas they have created parallel governments quite unlike the colonial government they are shouldering aside. One of the strong moves has been to take back the power to educate their youth. In mass industrial society the education of the youth is conducted by educational institutions governed by the elites who make sure that this is tailored to the needs of those elites and the industrial society that they control. By having control of the minds of the youth they are able to inculcate the reality view of industrial society with all it purposes, values and meanings. Nearly all of the artifacts of industrial culture are purchased from industry. The transportation, housing, food, water, and then the cultural world view provided electronically provides a near seamless reality that has little to do with life and living things but with power, profit and violence. The violence of three killings per hour on television is reflected in the violence to the earth and the violence of imperial wars of conquest to feed the maw of the machine that runs a net deficit of the earths’ fertility in order to insure its survival.

To the Zapatistas, transferring to the young the tremendously valuable fund of information that the species has amassed is certainly possible without also placing it in the context of the values of industrial civilization. They even have plans for a Zapatista university. But the manner of teaching is different. In their view the teacher comes to class to learn just like the students. It is a combined inquiry and the contribution of each participant is valuable. An important ingredient in their culture is respect; respect for the elders, respect for the earth and respect for each other. Life is valuable. They do not perpetuate a hierarchal command system.

Eco Villages and the New Aborigines

The immediate world problem is the net deficit of the earths’ fertility. This is solved by self-sufficient communities. The eco villages which are being formed around the world are pointed toward self-sufficiency. Eco villages grew, in part, out of the intentional community movement that began to swell in the late nineteen sixties. As the global recognition of the plight of the earth’s life grew, so did the eco village movement.

The “live in balance with nature” phrase does not necessarily mean adopting a loin cloth and eating roots and berries. The fact is that there are far too few roots and berries left. We can although, create ways of living that are self-sufficient and that do pay obeisance to the successful million year history of our species.

Of course there are many “eco villages” in various cultures around the world that are still near self-sufficiency but the new eco village movement within the machine of industrial society is significant. We in industrial civilization are culturally conditioned to associate power with wealth. In reality, from top to bottom, our daily lives are governed by huge mass institutions over which we have little or no control. All our survival systems are controlled by mass institutions. We have little fundamental control of our lives. Our picture of “freedom” is to have enough money to do “whatever we want”. But this is not real power on the planet earth. Being able to create one’s habitation, feed oneself through one’s own efforts and live in a real human community that serves the developmental needs of each individual and the community is real power.

The eco village movement is a follow-on to the resources developed by the “alternative community” activists. These resources are many. They involve alternative medicine as an alternative to industrial medicine. Herbalism, aromatherapy, chiropractic, body work ,which is often called energy medicine, acupuncture, nutrition and many others are resources that are popular. Gender equality is a very strong theme. Grassroots, consensus government is seen as real democracy. In the realm of habitation local materials such as straw bale, cob, adobe and other alternatives to industrial construction are emphasized. This is usually combined with passive or active solar advantages in addition to water harvesting systems. Various alternative energy systems have been perfected.

The pleasure of providing one’s food has gone beyond the European row crop system to the far more sophisticated Permaculture. The practice of permacultue has spread world-wide. In some aspects Permaculture is a way of designing (or planting) one’s area and watershed with a high diversity of human and ecologically useful species that all fit together into plant communities. It is based in perennial plants, does not turn the soil on the broadscale and through its diversity provides a healthy, balanced diet. Permaculture can restore soil fertility while providing more food per acre than can industrial agriculture. This comparison is somewhat unfair to the industrial system which grows monocrops on vast areas with the purpose of sucking up soil fertility by the use of annual plants for profit. Its purpose is not to feed people, but to force surpluses from the earth for profit. Permaculture on the other hand does not produce massive surpluses of monocrops, its purpose is to feed people. It can although, produce specialty crops for the local famers markets or village barter centers.

People leaving the disintegrating human culture of industrial society have experimented with many social forms. Celibacy, monogamy and group marriage are possibilities. Ritual and the creation of traditions are important. The content of our daily lives are important. How we relate to each other and how we relate to the youth are important. In community there are mentors for the youth, uncles, aunts, elders. In the impoverished human culture of industrial society the young are deposited in front of a television and then when they are a little older they are stuffed into a mass educational institution preparing them to become another industrial cipher.

In traditional cultures of our species, the youth were taught how to be human. This is artfully shown in the book, Seven Arrows, by Hyemeyohsts Storm from the Cheyenne culture of the North American Great Plains. An African couple, both who came from a small, traditional village in Ghana have been valuable resources for the intentional community movement. Sobonfu E. Some and her husband Malidoma Patrice Some help us understand what life-centered, human village life is like.

People are returning to the land and community in many forms. The direction is set and there are many paths. One unique path is a method using traditional capitalist techniques to reach that goal. Globalecovillage led by Biosphere II architect Phil Hawes has created a stock company listed on Wall Street to reach that goal of designed eco villages.

The elephant in the room is the Global Ecovillage Network that involves tens of thousands of villages. This is a world-wide network of eco villages that shows that rather than having to adopt a loin cloth, the ancient human values of our species can be established at the next higher turn of the spiral with eco villages all over the world connected and communicating over the internet like a global mind. A small solar panel or a micro hydro, a telephone connected to a satellite and there you have it. The eco village is not a retreat backwards into some kind of insignificance.

The burgeoning movement is shown by a statement from the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN). “Network members include large networks like Sarvodaya (11,000 sustainable villages in Sri Lanka); EcoYoff and Colufifa (350 villages in Senegal); the Ladakh project on the Tibetian plateau; ecotowns like Auroville in South India, the Federation of Damanhur in Italy and Nimbin in Australia; small rural ecovillages like Gaia Asociación in Argentina and Huehuecoyotl, Mexico; urban rejuvenation projects like Los Angeles EcoVillage and Christiania in Copenhagen; permaculture design sites such as Crystal Waters, Australia, Cochabamba, Bolivia and Barus, Brazil; and educational centres such as Findhorn in Scotland, Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales, Earthlands in Massachusetts, and many more.” In the U.S. there are presently eighty-three villages affiliated with the network. One can imagine the creative ideas that flow between all of these villages!

The worm has turned. In former decades revolutionaries vied to grab the industrial power of the elites in order to redistribute wealth. Now we have seen what the “wealth” of the industrialist/banker has done to the earth and our future. Now we in the culturally poor but “wealthy” societies are looking to the “richness” of a new kind of human culture that cannot be directed but can only grow out of the base.

The base is in motion. The earth is speaking. Those involvedwith infinite demands upon finite resources will not survive but the earth will survive along with those children embedded within her.

William H. Kötke, author of Garden Planet: The Present Phase Change of the Human Species, available at, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and retail bookstores. He is also the author of the newly reprinted underground classic, The Final Empire: The Collapse of Civilization and the Seed of the Future, which may be seen at

The Final Empire by William H. Kötke web page
About William H. Kötke web page
"Anastasia" by Vladimir Megre, a book review by William H. Kötke web page
The Hero's Journey web page
A Plan to Save the Life of the Earth Including the Human Being web page
Russia to be an Ecovillage? by William H. Kötke web page

Ongwhehonwhe Index Page
The Rainbow Body Network home page


Monday, September 27, 2010

Rockefeller Study Outlines "Doom Decade"

There is little doubt that technology will continue to drive change across the developing world. However, uncertainty exists about the role of technological advances in alleviating poverty. To uncover the range of possibilities that may emerge, novel approaches like scenario planning are essential.

“Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development,” a new report, features four very different—yet very plausible—visions of how technology could profoundly alter how we address some of the most pressing challenges in the developing world.

Scenario planning—an innovative method of creating narratives about the future—is a powerful tool for assisting organizations in considering how complex problems could evolve and be solved over the long term. The scenario planning process helps to identify unique opportunities, rehearse important decisions by simulating their broader implications, and illuminate previously unexplored areas of intersection. -The Rockefeller Foundation

Rockefeller Study Outlines “Doom Decade”:
Life For All But Super Wealthy Will Be Hell On Earth
Terror attacks, natural disasters and a surveillance security crackdown
by Steve Watson article link
July 16th, 2010 | PrisonPlanet

In our leading article today we provide an overview of the nightmare future envisaged by a recent Rockefeller Foundation study which describes a global dictatorship tightly controlled by the world’s elite and super rich.

The Rockefeller blueprint for a new world order entitled “Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development,” predicts four future narratives.

One narrative in particular, “Hack Attack” outlines a scenario in which Technology is demonized as a criminal weapon prevalent in a world where civilization has all but collapsed.

“Devastating shocks like September 11, the Southeast Asian tsunami of 2004, and the 2010 Haiti earthquake had certainly primed the world for sudden disasters. But no one was prepared for a world in which large-scale catastrophes would occur with such breathtaking frequency.” the report states.

“The years 2010 to 2020 were dubbed the “doom decade” for good reason: the 2012 Olympic bombing, which killed 13,000, was followed closely by an earthquake in Indonesia killing 40,000, a tsunami that almost wiped out Nicaragua, and the onset of the West China Famine, caused by a once-in-a-millennium drought linked to climate change.” it continues.

The study envisages nation states all over the world literally losing control of their public finances and the ability to retain order and stability with “violence and crime more rampant”. It also envisions global coordination and interconnectedness between nations breaking down altogether to be replaced by proxy wars and low level conflict.

“By 2030, the distinction between “developed” and “developing” nations no longer seemed particularly descriptive or relevant.” the report states.

The only ones able to prosper in such an environment (surprise surprise) are the global elite and the super wealthy:

“The global have/have-not gap grew wider than ever. The very rich still had the financial means to protect themselves; gated communities sprung up from New York to Lagos, providing safe havens surrounded by slums. In 2025, it was de rigueur to build not a house but a high-walled fortress, guarded by armed personnel.” the report states.

As a backdrop to this chaos, the study attacks advanced technology, in particular the internet, depicting it as a tool for criminals and terrorists:

“Technology hackers were also hard at work. Internet scams and pyramid schemes plagued inboxes. Meanwhile, more sophisticated hackers attempted to take down corporations, government systems, and banks via phishing scams and database information heists, and their many successes generated billions of dollars in losses.” the study prophesies.

“The internet is overrun with spam and security threats and becomes strongly associated with illicit activity — especially on “dark webs” where no government can monitor, identify, or restrict activities.” the report states elsewhere.

Of course, the solution to fight such envisioned evils is to implement a highly sophisticated surveillance security system:

“Identity-verification technologies become a staple of daily life, with some hitches — a database of retina recordings stolen by hackers in 2017 is used to create numerous false identities still “at large” in the mid-2020s.”

“The positive effects of the mobile and internet revolutions were tempered by their increasing fragility as scamming and viruses proliferated, preventing these networks from achieving the reliability required to become the backbone of developing economies — or a source of trustworthy information for anybody.” the study outlines.

The message here is clear, the internet revolutionized global communication and enhanced the spread of knowledge, yet it is in its current form uncontrollable, and as such constitutes a great danger to the only ones who can continue to prosper in this nightmare new world order; the global elite.

While communication technology is demonized, other so called advances, such as genetically modified crops are lauded as progressive, despite being mired in controversy in today’s world. The study envisages the by now decimated poorer classes actually benefiting from “backyard and garage activities” including the mass production of GMO foods.

However, the report draws the line on such technological advances when it comes to the production of cheaper medicines and vaccinations, which it intimates will be deadly if allowed to be mass produced outside of elite control.

This study is not a work of dystopian fiction. It has not been written for entertainment value. This is what the Rockefeller Foundation and the elite Global Business Network envisage unfolding in the new world order. This study is deadly serious, and those involved with it’s funding and publication are not playing games.

Furthermore, the scenarios outlined in the report are not simply falling into place naturally, they are being actively implemented. Economic collapse and authoritarian social control are being fomented in front of our eyes by design.

The self correcting free market has been strangled and snuffed out by a combination of government intervention and offshore bankster looting of the planet’s wealth. As this situation continues to worsen, without meaningful corrective action, it is not difficult to imagine the social unrest we are already witnessing becoming global in its scope.

The report compliments these conditions with propaganda and fearmongering over climate change and natural disasters, as well as huge terror attacks.

It takes the overriding agenda of elite social engineers and places it into a not too distant future as a way of normalizing the prospects it outlines. As the report notes in it’s introduction, the scenarios outlined “allow us to imagine, and then to rehearse, different strategies for how to be more prepared for the future — or more ambitiously, how to help shape better futures ourselves.”

PrisonPlanet home page


The goal of this project was not to affirm what is already known and knowable about what is happening right now at the intersections of technology and development. Rather, it was to explore the many ways in which technology and development could co-evolve — could both push and inhibit each other — in the future, and then to begin to examine what those possible alternative paths may imply for the world’s poor and vulnerable populations. Such an exercise required project participants to push their thinking far beyond the status quo, into uncharted territory.

Scenario planning is a methodology designed to help guide groups and individuals through exactly this creative process. The process begins by identifying forces of change in the world, then combining those forces in different ways to create a set of diverse stories — or scenarios — about how the future could evolve. Scenarios are designed to stretch our thinking about both the opportunities and obstacles that the future might hold; they explore, through narrative, events and dynamics that might alter, inhibit, or enhance current trends, often in surprising ways. Together, a set of scenarios captures a range of future possibilities, good and bad, expected and surprising — but always plausible. Importantly, scenarios are not predictions. Rather, they are thoughtful hypotheses that allow us to imagine, and then to rehearse, different strategies for how to be more prepared for the future — or more ambitiously, how to help shape better futures ourselves. -Imagining the Future

GBN-Rockefeller Foundation Scenarios on Technology and International Development
Imagining the Future download pdf
June 1, 2010 | GBN-Rockefeller Foundation

Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development
Imagining the Future download pdf
May 25, 2010 | The Rockefeller Foundation and The Global Business Network
The Rockefeller Foundation home page

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