Cameras remain weird and fascinating to me. But one downside of filming a talk (versus writing it down) is that so much time is taken up just rambling along, and so a bunch winds up having to be left out for brevity’s sake. I don’t want to make some major, hour-long doozy of a video. What hell that would be to edit, and how boring to listen to coming from me. Well-aware that I’m not a good speaker, but ah well. The course I feared most in college was Public Speaking. The camera provides a safe enough distance to experiment and play around.
Got things I’m thinking about, might as well jabber some about them too. Why not?
Well, in the second clip above I was talking about what I call “natural hierarchies” and pointing back in time. Probably some genius out there will pipe up to say enslavement existed long before corporations broke onto the scene, and yes — preemptive duh. Part of the film had to be cut out due to crappy sound quality where primates were mentioned, but nevertheless we’re focusing here on primitive humans, all of whom lived in small clans and tribes, over thousands and thousands and thousands of years on up to the few small, isolated groups that remained outside of civilization until the 20th century (which have since been disrupted by foreigners — tribes of Papau New Guinea readily spring to mind). It’s what humans and our progenitors did and do. Try as we might, it’s seriously doubtful we’ll be able to overcome that significant fact of life. Humans are intensely social beings.
My imagination tends to like to swim in the pools of the very, very distant past, the early agrarian past, and where that knowledge and understanding might someday lead our species (maybe, possibly, assuming we don’t wind up nuking ourselves into a new Stone Age — a common worry). And I just like to wonder what our options are, theoretically. In my mind I can envision a modern agrarian renaissance, made all the more necessary because gaining independence from the current setup requires regaining control over food production. This is where the organic and small family farm development really comes in handy, but I believe this is calling for more of us to be involved to whatever degrees. Because in order to feed ourselves currently, we must earn money, and to earn money many people are expected to tolerate unfulfilling and/or soul-sapping and/or low-wage employment positions that tie into the economic slavery game confronting all of society. Even if you’re not employed by some big-dog corporation, chances are you’re still getting hosed. Self-employment is becoming less and less the norm as people turn toward businesses to earn what they need.
We have grown separated from the land. Many of us do not know how to provide for our basic sustenance, hence why we can be so easily manipulated as a population. Our needs all come through working for money, and money is needed to attain nearly everything under the sun today. We do not control the money supply, nor have much say over how it is managed. We are dependent, in other words, and this is not a secret.
Beyond reclaiming our ability to care for our own selves to the utmost in terms of what’s vital for our existence, so as to break away from corporate mammoths with serious quality control issues and unethical business practices, we’ll also gain benefit from working the land again and reacquainting ourselves with the natural world that in recent decades Americans have abandoned and instead taken to being distanced casual observers. It is my belief that many will find a greater sense of purpose and appreciation for their lives if they could reconnect on an elemental level with all that is needed to nourish our bodies and take back power into their own hands and into their own communities where shared values can be flaunted, embraced, and explored.
Diversity is what I’m suggesting, brought about by separating off and dividing up according to what allows communities to prosper. Shared values being an important consideration, tempered with however much or little tolerance will vary from community to community. There is no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to the cultures and communities we feel most at home in.
In a way I can see this as a new free market where people segregate off into their respective corners and create the communities they endeavor to. People unhappy here may relocate there instead, if admitted. Ten thousand villages, with privacy-loving stragglers housed in between, aiming to live better within their means, able to understand that efficiency isn’t everything, not always. Some life processes are more pleasurable when left to be, but in plenty of other ways technology will prove amazingly important in this movement I dream of. Agriculture that makes better sense, with Farmer Joel Salatin providing an innovative example for country-dwellers. Urban examples are still in the works.
But how far off the grid can most of us realistically step? I don’t know. Hard to imagine the whole staircase at this point. But the first step I believe is to return our available land toward more productive uses. Lawns soaked in chemicals, made to look artificial, are a waste of time, money, and energy other than providing aesthetic enjoyment (which matters as well, but why be limited to focusing on something as superficial as artificially-derived beauty?). Perhaps if we could start there, more ideas will spring to people’s minds over time. Maybe.
It’s a fanciful wish, I know. Not terribly practical or realistic in our current state of affairs. I know. But that’s what heaven on earth looks like to me. Greater diversity with truly free trade between groups of people, unregulated from on high (aside from perhaps agreements on principles that extend to all, including non-invasion pacts). But how long would such a paradise even last? Probably not long enough before groups got uppity and tried taking each other over. Bummer.
But ah well. We’re free to dream, if nothing else.