5b. The Survivalists
Get off-grid, learn about hunting, foraging and making stuff with your hands. Stock up on tinned and dried food and bury it all in an underground bunker in the middle of nowhere. Buy guns and ammo. Get ready to shoot people and eat them.
Also known as ‘Preppers’ in the US, some of the low-tech, ‘redneck’ solutions these people provide for eg, solar showers, free hot baths, rocket stoves, underground shelters or greenhouses, natural swimming pools, eco-cooking are nothing short of brilliant. Resilience is an important part of an unstable future and if for example, all the supermarkets and shops were empty, for whatever reason’ how long could you survive? If your power went off for a week, or a month – what would you do? It is essential to consider these things and have a plan in any case.
When you look around, the ‘green’ choice sometimes seems just another colour of consumer capitalism. Often it is the more expensive option in a choice to buy goods. Being a ‘green consumer’ is rife with hypocrisies and although it might make for a good conscience it is still little more than a fashion statement. Somewhere along the line corporate consumerism has already hi-jacked many of the real intentions beyond being ‘green’.
Surely recycle, reduce, repair and re-use and refuse are the essence of the green message? As opposed to ‘purchase from a different source’.
Certainly there seem to be better consumer options available with green shopping, such as buying ‘Fair Trade’. But there are many people who now question just how fair any trade with third world countries can be in the context of the international banking and free trade system we have. It can’t be right to buy something cheap from a Third World country and then sell it expensive to the First World customers?
In reality to be ‘green’, one should let go of all attachment to money and close one’s bank account. In reality the green option here is local trade and exchange with local produce and without the use of money. Even the most ethical of banks is still part of an earth-wrecking system that exploits the non-renewable raw materials of the earth. This economic system is built on the fallacy that we can continue to use our capital assets, the resources of the Earth, as income in a ‘growth forever’ fantasy.
In reality, being green means letting go of your job and refusing to use petrol to go to work at all. Almost all employment is also part of the same economic system that exploits people and planet for the profit of a few, and the payment for this employment is money – which is at the heart of our problem in creating a fairer social system.
In reality, being green means not buying anything at all. It means making, growing, mending or exchanging goods and avoiding money which is taxed by governments to further their warmongering economic objectives and the objectives of their controllers, with its unavoidable side effects of environmental and planetary degradation.
In reality, being green means turning off your gas, your electricity and your water supply because the systems that deliver these to you are also entrenched in the earth destroying, monopolist systems of consumer capitalism.
Anything less is a compromise. But whose going to do that (apart from Mark Boyle)?
Promoting, even suggesting such options in today’s world is often met with stony silence. In a world controlled by fear of terrorism, any kind of extremism or radicalism is increasingly interpreted as dangerous and anti-social, a threat to the system or part of a ‘conspiracy’ based reaction. How long do you think government will take to accuse ‘Extinction Rebellion’ of economic terrorism, if people are allowed to protest again?
There aren’t many people who are actually able to be truly ‘green’. Often those whose cultures are naturally sustainable in resource terms, like the Kalahari Bushmen or the Masai, like the indigenous peoples of the Amazon Basin, Australia or North America, are persecuted and forced into unsustainable systems in which they have to earn money to provide for themselves and their families.
So a moralist will refuse to earn enough money to pay taxes. They are unlikely to have a car or own a house. They may not vote or buy stuff and stay out of consumerist cycles by not owning. They re-use and recycle as much as possible and avoid contributing any of their valuable energy to the system. Food is sourced on an ethical basis and possibly purchased by direct exchange if possible. A moralist activist might opt-out to a co-operative lifestyle, living off the land in domes, benders or mini-homes and getting by on part-time jobs.
Of course one solution is to change culture and move somewhere beautiful like Northern Thailand where people still live a spiritual life in tune with nature.
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