“The 7 Levels Of Crunchy Hippie Hell” (my thoughts)

Just finished watching this and am immediately wondering where the heck he’s finding so many “liberals” like this? Because I wish more held some of the attitudes mentioned there.  ha

Most of those I meet make tons of excuses for Government (especially Obama’s administration), don’t seem to care enough about the NSA spying program, place entirely too much faith in most of what’s deemed scientific without more careful scrutiny on their own parts, place tons of faith in authority (at least when it comes to academe as a whole), and wouldn’t qualify as being true anarchists. Nihilists, maybe (though I can see where some folks, whatever their political affiliations, do cloak their life-negating nihilism in anarachist lip service at times).

Kept waiting throughout this video for some sort of punchline, clearing up that this in fact isn’t how most so-called liberals behave yet perhaps actually should be. But no, instead he brought up Ted Kaczynski, a.k.a. “the unabomber.”

Hmmm…well, I guess that’s one take on the situation. Certainly pretty far from my own, though it heartens me a little to think more self-described liberals are coming to critique and reevaluate the trajectory of modern times and the rise of civilizations and technologies. Only a little, though, since I personally see some of those folks as nihilists-in-anarchist’s/progressive’s-clothing who apparently are hell-bent on destruction rather than affirming life through adopting strategies that enable us to live how we believe may be more beneficial for ourselves as human communities, accepting that no one-size-fits-all solution will suffice. Their thinking is too warped to wrap around the idea of us all not wanting to go together in the same direction as one unified mega-society. Just blows their mind to even bring it up.

The problem I’ve long-since had with self-described anarchists relates with that very issue: their verbalized desire to tear down and destroy without anything else envisioned or created to take its place. We have no Plan B to fall back on, so that strikes me as the primary concern of the moment, figuring out how and what to construct so as to reclaim power into our own hands. Which does include experimenting with gardening techniques so as to generate what’s necessary to sustain our lives. Because without that, we have no footing to stand on in demanding changes or to be let free from what appears to be psychologically fucking people up (namely, being sucked so deeply into the money game to where people are forced to live like hamsters in a wheel, chasing money in order to buy what’s required to survive).

Gotta break that chain if people want to go another way, and I can’t blame anyone for wishing to get outside of this setup and get back down closer to basics where involvement in genuine productivity was once the norm. What’s wrong with taking the view that humanity has strayed in a direction that’s proving unhealthy and unsatisfying for many?

See, I do get where modern life has brought many benefits, and I personally am not anti-modernity 100% of the way. There are many good points, and there are seriously harmful points as well, then shades of gray in between. It’s a question of what is worth salvaging and what might not be, and also what even can be within a truly sustainable system. The change from how we live today would be radical, so much so that I doubt most of those claiming to be on board with such drastic measures today would remain engaged for the long haul and eventually probably would present resistance heading the opposite way in an effort to protect creature comforts and in clashes over what can or should be maintained. There is where true anarchy enters the equation, leading to groups fractioning off to go their own ways in order to escape becoming gridlocked with others. At least that’s where my imagination leads me these days.

I don’t see how this many people with such different conceptions of “the good life” can ever reach a consensus so as to maintain this large and complex of a society. That’s my wager heading forward. And I doubt even Karl Marx would disagree if he could be beamed into the present.

That is something that’s always confused me about so-called “socialists” and “Marxists” of today. Karl Marx and the communists he aligned with lived in very different times that could not foresee what lay in store. I personally feel, after reading over time some of his writings as well as textbook descriptions about him and his advocacy, Marx was essentially describing a Luddite setup that would only work in a pre-Industrial society. Yet people have dragged his vision forward and dramatically altered it and seem to think it can be applied in massive, highly specialized,(post-)Industriualized societies, and this is where I get into serious quibbling and head-shaking. Too many genies are out of the bottle for it to be possible to go forward into such a centralized power scheme without at least certain classes of people being thoroughly exploited in order to maintain it (as has been the case throughout all of civilized history up to now).

Sound Kaczynski-ish? Well, I’m not done.

The problem with Kaczynski’s strategy is it went offensive, whereas I think most of us understand the defensive stance but morally take issue with striking out where not directly and squarely provoked. IMO, after reading some of Kaczynski’s manifesto in the past, his views went too far and were indeed the aspirations of a man gone rabid. BUT, that doesn’t mean everything he said was bullshit. I agree with parts where he took issue with how technology has overrun our lives and how our government and institutions have grown intensely corrupt. Would have to pull it up to recall more specifics, but the foundation he was operating from wasn’t insane, even if he took it to destructive and unjustifiable extremes. He forfeited the higher road by choosing to become a terrorist, which then poisoned the worthwhile aspects of the perspective he publicly shared as well.

Admittedly, I have mixed feelings over his motives and actions. Cannot endorse them anymore than I can the actions taken by some members of ELF (Earth Liberation Front) who place spikes in trees to kill and injure loggers. Strikes me as misplaced and excessive aggression doled out on the workers, turning virtually everyone who otherwise might have been at least sympathetic to his frustrations with modern life into people wanting to distance themselves from anything and everything he ever spoke of. Damned himself and his ideals in that move.

That aside, I can’t offer much defense for the guy, but questions about the direction of modern societies and our energy demands and lifestyles remain very relevant. Because some people take their messages to fanatical extremes doesn’t detract from the bigger truth that people aren’t adjusting to modern life as hoped. People want out of this controlling of a grid, just as any animal detests being caged. Does this not lead to economic slavery? Because I don’t see how it inevitably won’t. For plenty, that day has already arrived.

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting this position out of the video creator going by the handle Tooltime9901. Kinda surprised by how far apart we seem to see these matters, especially considering how many other videos I appreciated from him. Even our views on the Zeitgeist films are bass ackward — I consider the first film the best, yet the filmmaker lost me in the last where he promoted centralized living schemes. Consider me a mule, but dang it — formal, prescriptive approaches to solving humanity’s dilemmas won’t prove to be one-size-fits-all, and I’d just like to explore more possibilities, even those deemed primitive. Maybe we don’t all want or need to live under the same sort of setup, and what’s really wrong with that? Let some descend into the Dark Ages if that is their will. It’s either that or feud with them forever. I say let them go to see what they can make of their existence.

It’s this notion that we all must be tied in to some increasingly centrally-controlled and invasive system that I find most offensive from the “liberals” Tooltime9901 stands in agreement with. Why? Because the system will fail without our contributions? Because our financial sphere has been turned into a giant pyramid scheme that would collapse on itself if it lost anymore funding from wage slaves stuck running on their hamster wheels? Because an imperial nation cannot afford to lose any power if it’s to maintain its dominance both here and abroad? Because we as citizens owe so much to something we were simply born into without possessing much say over?

There are times when it’s necessary to return to the drawing board, and now is clearly one of them. The current ways are infuriating people, as is understandable IMO. There is no past to return to, but it does help to learn about how humans have existed in the past so as to come to terms with what our options are going forward if the goal is to create sustainable ways of life guided by realistic paradigms that take into account our natures as human beings, not merely treating us as cogs within a wheel intended to feed some abstract Machine a few great thinkers originally conjured up. The exploitation is running too high, the divides are too deep, and the moral concerns over what we’re doing to one another so as to live as we do is a major burden on people’s psyches. It’s hurting us to continue this way, so something’s gotta give. That much I do know.

And I personally happen to really appreciate the book Brave New World and would recommend it to anyone as sci-fi food for thought.

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2 Responses to “The 7 Levels Of Crunchy Hippie Hell” (my thoughts)

  1. levere says:

    He of course assumes that optimism correlates with a centralized society when in fact a lot of what props up what he advocates is built on among other things social contract theory. The anarchists were actually quite optimistic in their pre ww1/2 forms, also I would not necessarily call what came out of the 60s pessimistic. Some is some isn’t. If you read any Kevin Carson he talks a lot about the prospect of decentralized resilient communities and he overall has an optimistic disposition.

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