Thursday, March 12, 2009

The One Way Propagation

I got 45 hours of graduate level credit studying in a program which adhered to a central tenet that a small group could change the world by the propagation of its values and practices. The gist was revolution from small to global.

I never took a survey, but it seemed certain that most in the program were pacifists. Pro local economy was another norm in the school population. Beyond my grad program, the people I encounter while discussing politics in Seattle are often pacifists, and for local economics as opposed to global. At Evergreen State College, 60 miles south of Seattle, the students are over the top on these issues -the goal is some sort of pacifist anarchist crop raising utopia. Between my grad school's teachings ( and hopes for the world ) and the Evergreen agenda, I can say that a lot of Pacific Northwest people think a pacifist self-sufficient food growing society is the goal.

I have one of many goals, it is too eliminate such a pacifist crop raising society if it ever occurs.

I won't be a lone maniacal hippie hater, though. I will have the rush of all social network behavior behind me. Humanity will do my work for me, eliminating the autonomous pacifist groups.

Absolute pacifism is almost never absolute. The societal node that practices no violence often has a larger power which does have tanks, guns, and power of subpoena to protect them. But beyond these quant little petting zoos of pleasant peasants and monks, lets imagine a pacifist truly autonomous, with no protector.

This is very likely if the big meltdown happens. What we are currently calling "the Depression", what if it gets worse than that? Such as collapse of states, or at least drying up of their resources to the point they no longer send a soldier or police officer out to investigate crimes or craziness.

The radical left, Naomi Klein and Adbusters et al, have for a long time lusted after the big meltdown; the collapse of McDonalds, Wal-Mart, Nike, and Hollywood. With that vacuum of none of the later 20th century stuff they imagine we can all get back to being good natured farmers.

Pacifism doesn't spread. Pacifism, by its very fragility when in transit, does not travel out in the world. It stays at the commune, or in the monastery. Yes, some buddhist monks have travelled, but the swords of a sympathetic warlord or Emperor were an essential ally.

Localism has a giant enemy -information. Information in the form of novel music, jewelry, cooking pots, and pretty women from the villages of that other ethnic group over the mountain pass. Two years into localism, and I promise the stuff from afar will have an unavoidable appeal. And for good reason, the closed system of ingenuity is no ingenuity at all. And without ingenuity humans are an empty husk, worthless to themselves or others.

But what about the waves of meth enhanced murderers and rapists that love burning crops and villages? Oh, sorry to interrupt your bong hit with such a downer, but thats going to be some of the fun being had in rural areas if the big meltdown happens. We got a lot of people in America like this who will have plenty of freedom to roam and collect into bands of marauders if the economy collapses to barter and localism.

Autonomous pacifists will be rare or non-existent, but I do believe their will be a kind of localism if the collapse happens. Cool theorists call them Temporary Autonomous Zones (TAZ), but we've got an old term that works just as well: a Fiefdom.

Regardless of race, religion, or technological level, Fiefdoms have these qualities: an upper class that doesn't know how to do anything other than hang onto power. This class cannot work with their hands, and command "thinkers" who know math or literature. This upper class have unlimited use of the lower class for screwing. Whether homosexual or heterosexual, the constant is a daily disposal of several bodies to hump. The people who pull food from the dirt, they are less valuable than the animals owned by the upper class. There is a class of military capable men, and they provide dangerous encounters to every other class.

This is the localism that actually happens, nothing really to do with the humanistic and healthy vision of today's left. Today's left has an orthodoxy of hope nothing to do with what humans do, or how things will ever play out. It is totally ironic, the pacifist-localist luddite agenda I mingled with is not going to spreading their way after a collapse of globalism, they are going to be the mostly likely way of life to become extinct.

I say all the above critiquing a certain extreme (but prevalent) agenda, but should make clear no one should have a problem with adaptation and change in the form of, say, more urban farming, or anything DIY. It is just the strong moral imperative that embellishes a lot of "green" and "local" pursuits that needs pummeling.

1 comment:

Lord Rybec said...

Yeah, as I began your article I had a vision of pacifist crop raisers. My vision showed me medieval Europe with a bunch of crop raising serfs.

The difference is that the serfs were pacifists by force. Modern pacifist crop raisers propose to put themselves into this slavery by choice.

Lord Rybec