During Jen’s breast cancer treatment, it became apparent to me – changed me quite fundamentally, actually – the only people who truly matter in this world are the people who help other people.
I’m guessing it’s not such a profound realisation for many of you.
But it was for me.
Subsequently, over the past couple of years I’ve been giving considerable thought to the world and my place in it.
I arrived at this conclusion in February:
All paths currently lead to the destruction of the individual.
Not all paths lead to the destruction of the collective.
But the path we’re currently on does.
Again, not exactly a revelation. But it encapsulates things for me very neatly.
I’ve dispensed my biological duty to continue the human race – I’m immeasurably pleased with how they both turned out – but my life is essentially expendable now.
I’m willing and able to put myself in harm’s way, if it makes any significant difference. Or I’m happy to add myself as a drop to help become a flood.
But it needs to be effective. I don’t think taking to the streets in protest is the answer. We’re just playing their game by their rules. I think we need to approach this completely asymmetrically.
In a completely disruptive way.
And I don’t mean violently disruptive.
We build simple, robust mechanisms to effect positive change.
Example: set up community manufactories – the tech is there. 3D printers are cheap. Hell if everyone on your street chipped in the value of a coffee you’d have enough to buy a seed printer. Then print some more printers. Join clubs that already exist, start them where they’re needed.
Build micro-communities that enable social cohesion and resilience.
Set up plastic harvests – take that shit out of the community and the countryside, recycle locally. Hell, incentivise it. Clean plastic waste makes cash because it builds stuff.
Ignore the mass media – boycott their supporters and let them all go out of business. Get your information from sources that don’t have deep financial or political agendas. You know, the ones spewing hate, fear and confusion. Replace these with networks of our own – trusted and transparent networks.
The technology is there for anyone to embrace, we’re just not all using it as effectively as we can.
Rather than sitting on our arses waiting for an uncaring government to ‘save us’, why don’t we, the people, take our own steps? Plant trees. Everywhere. Volunteer with conservation groups. Be actively involved in your local community in positive ways.
Start to plan for high water levels. Seriously. Work on your resilience as an individual from a survival standpoint. Then help others do the same. Build a community lab and start work on material science. Build new, lightweight electric vehicles. Garden or community wind or solar farms. Mesh networks. Vertical grow-ops/farming + R+D. Guerrilla gardening FTW! Build shit that works, serves a useful purpose, then share the plans and the tools. Look into helping out with the Open Ecology project.
House bound? No worries – volunteer your skill set electronically – if you don’t have a skill set (you do, but you don’t rate it, is all) then get one – the ONLY thing stopping you is you. Learn to weave baskets, or build makeshift wind turbines (you know it’s just copper passing over magnets, blown by the wind, right?).
There’s so much shit we could be changing, forever and for the better. If we’re going to rebuild after 10 years of Conservatives, let’s do it as the forerunners of green energy technology, next generation materials and better solutions for what’s ahead of us. Look at everything with new eyes. Do I need this. Is it damaging to the environment. Is there a cheaper, greener alternative? No? Then MAKE ONE! We are genuinely at a point in our civilisational development where we can peacefully take control of production in so many senses of the word.
Shit, just look at the frankly tear-inducing work of the ‘For the Love of Scrubs’ group. I plan to learn how to use a sowing machine. I’m going to make durable hemp scrubs. No bullshit.
Aaaaand I’m not saying just let these wankers roll over us. We can still fight them every wrong step they take. Active, organised protests. Peaceful, persistent disruption.
But we need a new system of governance. Because this one is utterly broken.
I did a silly blog post about this the other day, but it’s worth mentioning here.
Politics is a broken plate.
We use it to pass what we need to each other.
People are bickering over which piece is most important to ‘get the job done’.
Once in a while, someone gets a hammer and breaks a piece.
Or a piece gets dropped and fractures further.
While everyone bickers, the building they’re in starts to crumble and the people suffer.
What’s the logical solution to this problem?
Of course, you get a new plate and fix the building.
Our politics plate is broken and the thing we depend on for survival is rapidly being exterminated.
So we work to change it.
No single person or personality can solve the problems we’re facing. But many of us together can.
We don’t have to change our ways of life – OK, so I’m planning to make hemp scrubs based on outfits I’ve seen in Enter The Dragon, but a man’s comfies are his own private kingdom…. But, really we don’t.
We just need to mobilise as a nation of individuals, set on probably the most important purpose of our lives in the UK so far – besides stopping the democide of our own people at the hands of whatever this government is becoming…and Brexit….
I have more questions than answers, but I’m certain I have parts of parts of answers. I think, collectively, we already hold the key to societal change. We just need to turn it and open the door to a different future for the people who come after us. Hell, if we worked hard enough we could change it for the people still here.
This all flows back to my personal mantra – ‘no single drop feels responsible for the flood’. If a single human can remove a thousand pieces of rubbish from the environment, imagine what we can *all* achieve.
One single, simple action of positive change from each of us can help change the course of human history. You’re actively helping to prevent a future apocalypse.
I mean that.
In the (near magical) unlikelihood of the science being off, what do we end up with? A clean, healthy paradise (compared to this) for everyone with completely sustainable, near-free resources?
There *is* a path to that future.
But each of us has to act.