Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Law of the Commons

TRC contributor Christopher Weller


"Originally, human beings lived in a state of nature where all things were held in common; it was war that first divided up the world, and the resultant 'law of nations', the common usages of mankind that regulate such matters as conquest, slavery, treaties, and borders, that was first responsible for inequalities of property as well."

~ David Graeber, Debt: The First 5,000 Years

Looking out across the landscape of society today, one may find it quite difficult to recognize or sense a state of community. The complexity of society in our modern era seems highly integrated, sophisticated, and somewhat efficient. But as we are seeing in the past several decades, and some may say centuries, is that the complexity is but a facade that hides the self-destructive, inefficient, and brutal culture driving us toward calamity. Our society filled with violence, angst, anxiety, war, and misery is the direct result of our failing efforts to master the world. It is as if we are being subdued, blocked, or restricted from such an effort by some unseen, incomprehensible natural law. A fate misinterpreted as the "natural state of man."

In past centuries, and some may say since the dawn of the human species or even the beginning of life itself, the world followed a different pattern, one bound by a more supreme law of nature. But, this law consists not of merely chemistry, physics, or geology alone, nor is it just biological, and even ecological -- the same scientific pursuits inherent in the culture of today dominating the world.

Throughout the majority of the history of life, there was a law that all life lived by, from the smallest bacterium to the human, that seems to encapsulate and encompass all of the laws that we arrogantly, and with great naivety, believe we have mastered today. It is what seems to be telling us now, more than ever, that we have been led astray by the false promises of the egotistical culture in control of our lives and the destiny of life on this planet. It is a seemingly all-encompassing law of the universe, built into the natural world. It is the Law of the Commons.

Like our traditional understanding of "the commons", which is understood as a social pattern that is defined as a community, or communities, that share resources, such as land, sea, air, water, ad infinitum, and therefore, cannot be commoditized or "owned," so too is the state of life on this planet. All the "communities" of life share resources, maintain the life of other species in symbiotic relationships, and are subservient to a law held in common, in and of itself, to maintain and ensure their existence upon the Earth.

Over the centuries, the Commons, and the underlying law, which governs the existence of life, has been shrunk to the far corners of the Earth. It has been overrun and pushed aside by the culture of destruction we are captive to today, with all of the systems of society running completely counter to the Law of the Commons. They are devoid of community, devoid of stewardship, devoid of an understanding of oneness with the life of this planet. We are separated from it all, seeing ourselves as separate from it, and we believe we have the rights of gods upon the Earth.

Why then, have we lost the Commons? And why is it as we further embellish ourselves into this culture of separation, does the suffering, misery, and doom only increase? Why is it that we believe we can somehow fix our grand problem with the magic of technology and the implementation of more programs, further distancing ourselves from the Commons?



"Technology is both a cause and a result of our separation from and objectification of nature. It distances us from nature, as today's artificial environments, reliance on machinery, and processed foods exemplify; on the other hand it is precisely our conceptual distancing from nature that encourages us to apply technology to it as an object of manipulation and control."

"The distinction between self and environment is minimal among the earliest form of life, the bacteria, which blur the self-other distinction with their fluid sharing of genetic material. Even higher animals and plants, however, rely upon on another for the co-creation of the internal and external environments essential to their mutual existence."

"No plant or animal is a completely individuated, separate, distinct being....there is no clear-cut, absolutist definition of the self or the organism; our belief to the contrary is only a projection of our mistaken view of our own selves."

~ Charles Eisenstein, The Ascent of Humanity

Our extension of ourselves through the use of technology, before even homo sapiens came to be, with even many species of animals using technology, from birds to bacterium, using & manipulating the environment, to "extend the self" is proof of connection and oneness. For as Eisenstein states, "Where [then] does the body end and the 'extension of the body' begin?"

Thus, our separation, and the entirety of its affects on our dominion and our understanding of our place, our existence on the planet, our "selfish genes," our dominance & control, our idea of objectifying the world and ourselves, defining our "rights" of ownership, breakdown under such scrutiny and examination. It is the delusions produced by our dominant culture that not only separate us from the Commons, but also allow us to believe that we are above its ultimate law, the Law of the Commons.

Technology, once thought of as our vindication, our golden crown, chalice, and scepter of dominion, had never been a means of separation at all throughout the history of life, and even human evolution, but rather, has always been a means of further extending the species into the Commons, further contributing to symbiosis, and further interacting with the world.

It seems ironic that most species, including humans, who use tools, and hence, technology, learn the trait from their mothers, through imitation and play, but the Law of the Commons also teaches us that the Earth is our Mother, and to survive we are not only spawned from her womb, but we must learn, imitate, even through play and leisure, from her the lessons of how we ought to live on this planet; how we must interact with her and use the connecting powers of technology. The Law of the Commons tells us that life on this planet is not to be full of struggle, anxiety, angst, and misery, but to be in constant interaction, symbiosis, and at play.


"In Roman law, property, or dominium, is a relation between a person and a thing, characterized by absolute power of that person over that thing....Human beings can have relations with one another. But what would it mean to have a 'relation' with a thing?....[But,] Imagine a man trapped on a desert island. He might develop extremely personal relationships with, say, the palm trees....and, if he's there too long, he might well end up giving them all names and spending half his time having imaginary conversations with them. Still, does he 'own' them? ....Clearly, then, property is not really a relation between a person and a thing. It's an understanding or arrangement between people concerning things."

~ David Graeber, Debt: The First 5,000 Years

The foundation of today's cultural delusions inherent in the societal systems of today that keep us led astray from the Law of the Commons, comes from how we understand the definition of property and ownership, and hence, the "right" to objectify the world. It comes down to how we define things, and our relationship to them and each other.

Counter to the Law of the Commons, our idea of property and ownership has an intrinsic sense of "freedom" related to our idea of owning property, which came from an ancient, Roman idea that stated that one was "free to do whatever one wants" with the property under their dominion. That meant that tree, rock, fish, fowl, animal, and even slave was under complete control of the "owner." Later, even human "rights" were instilled into this understanding of ownership. In turn, rights and privileges became "business contracts" with the monarchy or state, or, as in today's world, with plutocracy, oligarchy, or the Corporatocracy.

By the Age of the Enlightenment, the body was separated from the mind into a dualism, where one could say they had "ownership" of their own body, in a metaphysical compliance to the evolving cultural and economic paradigm. The idea was entirely tempting to adopt. It fit very well with the growing culture of separation. Lust for power 'over' could be justified, and even the most insignificant person could claim to have "ownership." The idea of property had come to the self. Separation came to its final apogee, as each and everyone of us became more deluded by the vision that we are the gods of the Earth.

Nonetheless, owning paradoxically implied that there is always the ability to be bought, sold, lost, or surrendered. Ownership itself implies its own separation. Ownership brought the culture of separation to another level of absolute control of everything under its realm. The tempting element in its conception, which seemingly appealed to everyone, since everyone has "rights", its lie of egalitarianism implied that anyone could own, but also anyone could lose everything, including their "rights" as a human being. This very concept of ownership is responsible for enslaving the human race, and makes our own freedom, and the right of all living things to exist on this planet, expendable.

With everything, even our own bodies now objectified as things, separate from Nature, meant that everything could be exploited -- everything becomes a commodity subservient to the one who achieves mastery over it. Everything is an object to be controlled, manipulated, and bent to our will. To divide is indeed to conquer, and the separation of ourselves from our world allowed for the world itself to be enslaved. For separation leads to the temptation to control, and the lust for power 'over' only intensifies, reinforcing itself over and over.

But as we are now seeing today, the Law swiftly gains the upper hand. It increasingly punishes and lays down its judgment. We only believe we stay ahead of the game. And our delusion, reinforced by the culture of separation, allows us to believe that we are not bound by the Law of the Commons.

Furthermore, inherent in the delusion, ownership of any property can only be comprehended when there is a separation involved. This is because ownership is better understood not as the relationship between the object owned and the owner, but the relationship between owner and potential owner -- it is the relationship between people that is important, reinforced by the fear of one taking from them their property, and the delusion of scarcity created by the economic systems that have developed. It is, in truth, the relationship between people and the thing owned.




Those who have argued that we are the natural owners of our rights and liberties have been mainly interested in asserting that we should be free to give them away, or even to sell them.”

…Finally, similar ideas have become the basis of that most basic, dominant institution of our present economic life: wage labor, which is, effectively, the renting of our freedom in the same way that slavery can be conceived as its sale...

…it is only by the threat of sticks, ropes, spears, and guns that one can tear people out of those endlessly complicated webs of relationship with others (sisters, friends, rivals…) that render them unique, and thus reduce them to something that can be traded.”

~ David Graeber, Debt: The First 5,000 Years

The concept of ownership breaks down when the human race realizes that they are one. If all things are part of the same system, if we are all part of the Commons, there is no separation from each other. There is no need for the angst and anxiety of losing anything. Our whole practice of living in the delusion would not make any sense without us continually reinforcing such a belief that all is objectifiable, all is available to be bought & sold, acquired & processed, surrendered, or hence, “owned.”

As the well-known scripture of Genesis reads, Adam, which essentially means “mankind,” not one man, is responsible for the “original sin,” which is the “sin” of separation from the world in order to harness the power of God. The “original sin” of the ancient Greeks was when Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to the human race. The punishment for the “sin” of separation and lust for power 'over', has always been understood by all the cultures of the world superfluously. All of the human race submits to the Law or will fail. Human society must return to the Commons as a whole, or it will be devoured and eliminated by the Law. But, as we know, such absolute power “corrupts absolutely,” and it becomes an addiction of the most powerful sort.

For our society, and especially the masters of it, to continue with the addiction, the true “original sin,” we must equally continue to delude ourselves. Our culture of separation can not continue without the delusions it creates. But the Law of the Commons ensures that such delusions are not enough to save us.

As we seek concepts so separated from the world, we believe they are so far above nature, and the arrogance and ego-boosting belief that we invented the concept, such as our economic systems, becomes so strong that it has blinded us, so much so that we can’t see even the slightest connection to the natural world. However, in a sense, at the very foundation of these systems is the fact that their connection is so strong to the Law of the Commons, that as they lead the human race farther away in separateness, they cause not only our destruction, but the Law is simultaneously at play, forcing all those that ignore its power toward oblivion. Such systems must fail, because like anything else that has failed to exist in this world, it failed because it doesn’t obey the Law of the Commons.




A Homecoming awaits beneath our names, our numbers, our words, and our physical separation; you have been waiting for it your whole life. Sometimes it wells up and we run before it to save our selves, but its trace remains as a promise and a reminder of what life should, can, and will be.”

~ Charles Eisenstein, The Ascent of Humanity

As we invest more effort into such self-destructive systems the signs and symptoms of separation increase. The Law of the Commons is indeed a “promise” to humanity, in the sense that nothing is separate from the world, above the world, or in control of the world. And, that as we separate ourselves, the universe has less of a purpose, we are less of a person, and become a “thing". The Law says that the purpose and the meaning of life is -- there are no “things.”

When the Law is disobeyed, when we don’t listen to the promise, even our rights to ourselves, our own bodies, are measured, and are objects to sell or own. This includes our cherished “human rights", for even they become property to be owned and can be lost. And when we allow this system to continue on, we have given them away and our future is lost.

Obviously, air, water, and land are all something that can not be objectified into a thing, because nothing separate from something else can be in and of itself, a thing. To be a thing you must have separation from space and time. There must be a contrast between the “thing” and the observer. But, if you are one with it, and all your systems, beliefs, and consciousness act as though they are one with it, you are one with it, then you cease to be a thing. Everything becomes one and the same. And, thus, nothing is “owned” at all. All is Commons. All is one.

This is why the belief in the techno-fix to all of societies ills never work, and will only lead to more problems, and we delude ourselves that we just need to add more technology. This is why the hopes in “progress” never work, because the Law of the Commons ensures that as long as we continue to use the methods that separate us, and objectify the world, including ourselves, there is never “progress.” There is never dreams & hopes “answered". Technology never satisfies nor quells them. There is never peace, security, or leisure, and our fears, anxieties, and misery only increase. The addiction seeks only a new “fix” through near religious faith in science and technology.

These efforts also do not focus on the symbiosis of the Commons, by not contributing to the betterment of the world, and instead objectifying everything, and everything becomes a “likely slave” to be used. Other living things are used in order to better ourselves, rather than better our world. This is because, as mentioned above, of the belief inherent in our culture of defining property from the old Roman laws, where property is defined as something that can be done with as the “owner” pleases.

It is seen in how our entire economic system is interdependent upon those that they exploit. The great oil companies that were born out of the Industrial Revolution, were and are still dependent upon industry for their existence, even though at the same time exploit industry, manipulate countries, have no patriotism to one nation, but only to who is buying, and so on ad infinitum. But, they remain dependent on them. For if there were not a demand for their product, they would have nothing to sell.

Like today, tens of millions traffic the internet, especially social network sites and blogs, bringing about radical, revolutionary ideas and action. The recent Occupy Movement uses it, the Egyptian rebels used it, and their message speaks of demand that the economic system that such internet companies rely on and are imbedded in must be turned on its head. But, the “owners” of the net cannot shut it down, not for too long because the global economic paradigm depends on the internet, even sites like Facebook, to maintain itself. The Law ensures that these corporate powers can only survive through dependency on others.

Thus, the Law of the Commons exists in every corner of the culture of separation. No one can claim to escape it. Even the economic powers, living and breathing in an entirely cultural delusion, have dependency on its sheep, its cattle, upon us. They are one with us. The Law of the Commons, which states that all shall live as one with nature and all things or perish, manifests itself even in the economic delusions of the “owners of the world.”

The Law will force the corporate powers into their own self-destruction. As is happening now, they’re cannibalizing themselves as they bump into the end of “growth.” They must continue to acquire and consume as many weaker corporations as they can. It is the only way for them to continue to survive. They do not yet realize that their idea of “growth” is a delusion, and lust for it continues on relentlessly. We have seen this before in history. Many collapsing cultures have failed to obey the Law of the Commons, like the collapsing culture of Rapa Nui upon Easter Island, which reached the limits of what the island's land-base could give them and they descended into cannibalism. Once again, the Law demands compliance, or we will be cursed into consuming ourselves.

The Law is paradoxical in relation to our behaviors. If we obey it, we live, we survive as a species, and surviving because all other life benefits from it, including our own. As we stray from the Law, it is the opposite, and we are degraded into a threat to all living beings, including ourselves.

At all costs, our efforts must be not only to rejoin with the world consciously & culturally, but also to actively stop the paradox, to end the dilemma by forced abandonment of such systems. For the system can not stop on its own. It is not like any other addiction. The drug or alcohol addict can submit to being powerless over their addiction and are given then the psychological power from their belief in a divine power to overcome the substance of their addiction.

As with the addiction of the usual addicts, who must abandon and surrender their power over themselves to a “higher power”, even if those of us in the Transition Movement surrender ourselves to the power of the Law of the Commons, those that have benefited most from this power, the money masters, the heads of the global economic paradigm at the reigns of the culture, have no ability to submit at all and will never surrender. As they are removed, we only leave a void for more to fill their shoes and continue the exploitation. It must be the entire system that must come down, and with it will fall the addicts in charge of it.

For when you are dealing with addicts who have gained such immense power over the world, their lust is impossible for them to shake. It has been ingrained, ever so deeply, that they can not release it without killing themselves. The power of dominion has shaped a false, alternate universe for them, so much so that they believe they are the higher power, that there is nothing to surrender to. This is why it is called the “original sin.”

The only “intervention” in such a case, especially when the world, all life, our lives, our future are threatened, for the benefit of the powers that be, is that we make all efforts to take the world back from them -- they will only concede to change by force. They can not be persuaded. There is no “12-step” program for them. There is only one “intervention” -- Revolution!




"The full integration of the pain from the life of separation is what impels us back toward wholeness. One way or another, the pain will be felt. We can either wait for it to come to us, like an addict determined to get a fix at any cost, or we can go to it. Perhaps if we can see the futility of control, the futility of perpetually postponing the consequences, then we will have the courage to face them. It is said that no addict truly enters recovery until he or she hits bottom; however, it is equally true that "bottom" is different from person to person. At some point the addict decides no longer to evade the pain of a shattered life, wrecked family, sick body, or ruined career. He feels the accumulated agony, mourns what is lost, tries to make amends. Sometimes he succeeds in doing so before all is lost, before all friendship, all wealth, all health has been converted into money for the fix. Perhaps we humans will do so as well, and begin making amends to the world we are ruining before all beauty, all goodness, all wealth, all life is consumed."

~ Charles Eisenstein, The Ascent of Humanity

Our power lies with the supreme Law of the Commons. It is reinforced and supported by its eternal traits of symbiosis and connection. But it has no discrimination when it unleashes its final fury, its final judgment. It will not discriminate between the polar bear, the salmon, the sea turtle, the movie star, the CEO or the homeless man, the soldier, the policeman, or the Occupier. The pain will come. All will be punished!

Just as much as the powers that be will not see the need to change, even at the apogee of such fallout from their addiction plaguing the whole world, the Law of the Commons fights back with pure fury and wrath, with the same level of adamancy. The more the systems of conscious and cultural separation resist, the more unforgiving will be the judgment and punishment of the Law will rain down upon us all.

This is not ideology talking, when "revolution" is mentioned. This is not belief in some type of "...ism" that can rescue us, that such a message, such wisdom and understanding is coming from. It is not a liberal or conservative opinion. It is not political, cultural, sociological, religious, or even a philosophical position. Nor will the revolution needed be based upon some obscure, radical theory. It is the ultimate law, and no matter what our "beliefs" are now or were in the past, all ideas, all positions, and all beliefs are subservient to the Law. The revolution is just us submitting to the Law of the Commons. Whatever comes out of it can only be -- by following the Law.

The Transition Movement, who seeks to live by the Law of the Commons, must begin to act against the madness, to stop it. We must act as though we are obeying the Law to its full extent, living according to its promise and its demands. There is no need to fear following the Law. To delay or destroy such a movement, destroying any of its leadership -- those who do would only serve to destroy themselves. For such a revolution is not a move to "get ahead," to have more than our neighbor, to compete, or to ensure "progress." It is no envious pursuit to steal away what the elite in control "have." Our goal is only to reverse the damage and to be one again with the world. There is not even the traditional sense of "equality" in this pursuit. The concept of "equality" is not even being suggested, because in symbiosis there is never anything that is unequal. There is only contribution. There is only balance.

The true affluence and wealth brought to us by obeying this Law of the Commons will never come back to the human race as long as it is ignored by the present culture of dominion, self-destruction, and death. That is part of the self-delusional nature of it. For the current culture of separation to have gone on this long, the Commons must be seen as a harbor of angst, anxiety, suffering, and misery. How else would we be able to go on with such insanity? Our efforts to continue to allow ourselves to be enslaved by it and its leadership, and our reluctance to stop them & their system, are an integral part of the delusion. We are told that any other way to live would be "wild, out-of-control, violent, nasty, brutish, and short."

But with the removal of the old paradigm and its leadership, the veil will be lifted. We will then be open to the connection and through it we will see that all the anxiety in order to live is gone, angst about living is eliminated, and the dying culture will be seen for what it is -- a system of delusions built upon delusions.

It is cooperation, contribution, connection, symbiosis, synchronicity, and oneness that are the true mechanisms of living on this planet. They are the true variables incorporated into the ancient equations of the great Law of the Commons. Competition, separation, "selfish genes", owning property, and objectifying the world were all flawed and false elements we tried to inject into the equation of life that only made the equation unsolvable.


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Thursday, November 15, 2012

MOC / Top Secret Deal Between 11 Countries That Will Affect Your Life

TRC contributor Lee Camp

Did you know there is a soon-to-be-passed trade deal that's being called "NAFTA on steroids"?  Did you know over 600 corporate lobbyists are being giving the keys to a backdoor around our laws?  You probably didn't know about it because it's being kept top secret.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Trapped Aboard the Pequod [UPDATE]

TRC contributor, Christopher Weller


"Ahab had cherished a wild vindictiveness against the whale, all the more fell for that in his frantic morbidness he at last came to identify with him, not only all his bodily woes, but all his intellectual and spiritual exasperations..."

"The White Whale swam before him as the monomaniac incarnation of all those malicious agencies which some deep men feel eating in them, till they are left living on with half a heart and half a lung. That intangible malignity which has been from the beginning; to whose dominion even the modern Christians ascribe one-half of the worlds; which the ancient Ophites of the east reverenced in their statue devil; -- Ahab did not fall down and worship it like them; but deliriously transferring its idea to the abhorred white whale, he pitted himself, all mutilated, against it. All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby-Dick. He piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart's shell upon it."

-- Ishmael, from Moby Dick

Not too far from where hurricane Sandy had ravaged the East Coast of the United States, is the fabled Island of Nantucket, where the setting of Herman Melville's classic Moby Dick begins. Nature's wrath attacks the very heart of the society that has become the epitome of that which has attempted to control the natural world. The economic center of a global empire rests not too far away, and it is led by a global culture with psychopathic madmen at the helm bent on world domination. It is as if a great irony is being played out. A message is being given, not unlike the message of the great novel.

In the great classic, after the crew meets their ship, the Pequod, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, they set sail to Nantucket and then out to the sea, launching an epic adventure. The crew believes the ship's mission was to earn a fair share at the bounty of whales they hoped to harvest on the long voyage. But their captain, Ahab, had a different mission -- one that had motives of vengeance and obsession with power. The pathological quest to vanquish what he saw as all the evil in the world, became the death of him and his crew but one soul, fair Ishmael.

With a torn body and gashed soul bleeding into one another until his mind was obsessed with one purpose, to strike through the white mask of Moby Dick to whatever lay beyond, Ahab was driven by a never ending, never satisfied obsession in vanquishing the white whale. In Moby Dick he saw incarnate "all those malicious agencies which some deep men feel eating in them, till they are left living on with half a heart and half a lung."

Ishmael, the fair sailor who is the novel's narrator, comes from a life of the orphan, one alienated from society. Ishmael's character struggles with the reality of why Ahab pursuits the whale, why the world had seemed formed in love through the veil of whiteness of the whale, but to Ahab the universe seems full of heartless voids that must be closed, such as the blankness he saw in looking through the white veil of Moby Dick. To Ishmael, Ahab was part of some other world. To Ishmael, Ahab's pursuit reminds him of self-annihilation, vacuousness, devoid of color & meaning. Ahab is so blinded by his hunger for power over the whale, as we are over Nature, that it is blasphemous, heretical, to see the world from any different kind of consciousness & understanding. Ahab seems more from our world than his.

Like the mad, psychotic culture in charge of the world today, Ahab tempts his crew with glory and wealth if they continue to stay with him on his quest. He nails a golden doubloon to the mast of the Pequod to motivate the crew to join him in his pursuit, and to whosoever were to spot the great white whale first could have the coin. They do not know that they will pay a price for following the mad captain -- they will pay with their very lives.

Is this not like our own myth spun to us by the money masters of the world to have us believing in such fables as the American Dream? A fantasy only a portion of the world can possibly achieve? A myth that the more we desire it, scrounge for it, pillage the land for it, we may never have? A quest, a pursuit that will lead us all to a deep abyss of pain, suffering, and death?

This madness is reflected in the Promethean character of Ahab. Ishmael, the narrator, survives the entire fated voyage not only because one must survive to tell the tale, but primarily because he resists this Promethean urge, he resists the death urge that is a part of it as well. He is not a party with Ahab's entire consent to the blasphemous pursuit of the white whale. Ishmael lives by a different creed altogether -- not to attempt to control, acquire, exploit nature, not be a part of the madness, the psychopathic obsession of Ahab.

Ahab in his last attempt at killing the whale, atop the flailing creature, using his last harpoon he stabs into the flesh of the beast, but does not realize that the rope line of the harpoon has entangled his neck.  His nemesis drags him down to the depths of the roaring ocean to his doom. It is his own weapon, his own obsession, it is his false understanding of the nature of the universe that kills him.




In the character of Ahab, we see ourselves. We obsessively believe another delusion that we are invincible, and have every right to keep on consuming the planet to oblivion, that we are above nature, and that we have control of it. We have the delusion that somehow we can fix the problems that arise from our culture and from our society using the very same delusional systems and institutions that have led to our pending self-destruction. We become broken time and time again, we are punished by nature over and over, we suffer poverty and starvation, drought, war, strife, and conflict, we hate ourselves and each other, persuaded by the propaganda, through being indoctrinated by the culture. Yet, we still push on, head on into the abyss. We are obsessively pursuing our own graves. We have the same death urge that we cannot shake, only to keep on tearing ourselves, our world, and our souls apart, looking with eyes that will never see, and for salvation that will never come. We seek an answer that is not there, only eternal blankness, as Ahab sought in the whale.

Like the true intentions of Ahab, and how the whaling was not the intended purpose, like his true purpose of the voyage was to pursuit such a myth, to avenge through the human perversion of power over nature, that which he believed a mythical white whale had taken from him, by having taken out and destroyed a previous whaling ship, and most especially taken a leg, a part of him, our delusion is similar. We believe that no matter what is thrown at us by the wrath of Mother Nature, no matter how much we are beaten down, we still see it as an evil that must be tamed. We lie to the world and to ourselves as we extend the pursuit of civilization. We try to be "democratic," "just," or "moral," but in truth we only follow our obsessive quest for power, encouraged, coerced, and welcomed by the dominant culture. And, if Nature's wrath falls upon us, we are too insulted, and seek vengeance by escalating our attempt at dominance over her.

We seek this "power" over nature, we are at war with it, not necessarily seeking to destroy it, but to tame it so that we can continue to plunder & exploit its bounty, to control it, to conquer it instead. When faced with the wrath of which Nature herself releases upon us, we fight furiously against it with vengeful rage, further escalating the war against our Mother. We are oblivious to the reality that our efforts to contain her fury are for naught. We have made her our own nemesis. Our delusion of invincibility and grandeur convinces us that the tools of civilization, our methods, our technology, and so on, will save us. But, it cannot. Through the eyes of our culture we are blinded by our arrogance. Without realizing our true place in this world, and redefining the very systems we live by, we only infuriate "the whale" more.

Similarly to how Ahab looks to find why the evil exists, we seek to know why the wrath of Nature and the perils of life seem to endlessly collapse upon us, but what we don't realize is that what we are seeing as "evil" is from this obsession we have. It is the process, the culture of civilization that further exacerbates the pain. We try blaming one side or the other, one people or another, one belief or the other, yet we are chasing a ghost -- the same as what Ahab sought in the whale.


Like our own fantasy that we chase today, the evil is a delusion, just as much as the pursuit of the white whale was for Ahab. The chasing of what is naught resembles the perverse attempt of our modern society to pursuit a cure for our pain, the “evil,” outside of us and within, through the false promises of our cultural systems. With it we believe we can vanquish the ills of climate change, economic & ecological collapse, and our societal woes with such things as a “green economy,” “more growth,” and the like, which only further fog over, concealing the true evil of the culture itself.

It is why we too can’t see it. It is our underlying cultural delusions that creates the evil. We try to fix an evil, something that is a result of our grand fantasy and delusion, with more fantasy, with more delusion. We try to remove the evil that our evils have produced in the first place. Through this process our pursuit of the answer to our evils will be endless, self-destructive, and never satisfied until we realize the evil itself is the delusion.

There can be no “green economy, “ because the economy itself is part of the delusion. There can be no “infinite growth,” because the planet is finite. Even a child can understand that we cannot have endless growth on a planet with limits, without consequences, without hoarding of wealth, without starving children, without species extinction, without our eventual extinction. The lies of our culture convince us that such a fable, such a myth is possible.

It is our twisted, perverse belief in the meaning of economy altogether that is the deception. “Eco” comes from the ancient Greek word οἶκος meaning “household,” our house, our home. “Economy” means management of home. Management is synonymous with “efficiency,” “administrate,” or “direct,” but it is misunderstood, misconstrued by this culture to mean “control,” “manipulate,” “restrain,” or “subdue.” “Ecology” means the “study of our home.” Through study, one finds knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Ecology is telling us that it and our economy are not separate. Our management of our home must come from what we learn from studying it, from knowledge, understanding, and wisdom gained. They must be the two as one. They must be one. Our ancestral cultures, who live at peace with this planet, if they even had words such as these in their language, wouldn’t understand them as representing separate thoughts at all, because there would be only one word for both. Economy would be ecology, and ecology would be economy, just as Nature actually works, in symbiosis.

 

As with Ahab, our cultural ambitions are relentless. The part of him, the leg, which he lost doesn't stop Ahab's rage, nor does it stop his ambition to avenge, prove his "power," and be above nature -- like us, we will continue to ravage, to conquer, to exploit, even as pieces of us, our very lives are degraded and destroyed, our future eaten away. We will madly pursue until we destroy ourselves, at the expense of our "crew," our human brethren. Our lust for power over Nature, over all things, fuels the death urge, even with our families, our relationships suffering, destroyed and laid to waste by our systems.

Nearly all of our problems revolve around the current global economic paradigm, the grand superstition in control of our lives, that which we need to survive, and through it, all life around the world suffers.  Yet, we madly push on, believing that there is always a better day around the corner as long as we keep pushing on the same way. The culture coerces us into believing that if we fail it is our fault, if our marriages or relationships fail, if our children don't "succeed," if we don't "succeed," and even if our planet suffers and is destroyed, the culture tells us that it is the individual that is at fault. We are not told that in truth it is the system itself, the culture in control, the delusions and lies it produces that is the culprit.

In truth, we are all on board the Pequod -- a ship headed straight into the abyss. We strap ourselves in and batten ourselves down on this prison, like a barge alone in a vast, raging ocean of pain & suffering, a prison with no bars and no walls, as nature pounds us from all sides, starboard to port, forward to aft, led by madmen at the helm.

 "...to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee."-- Ahab, from Moby Dick

Ahab who worships the blinding power of the Promethean fire had gazed into an artificial hell of his own making and the slow, agonizing death feeds upon his heart forever through its equally blind pursuit. Likewise, the culture of civilization teaches us the way of Ahab, and we are punished for our blindness, and the eternal woe of madness.

How easily we give up and succumb to the death urge as Ahab, because we know no other way out, only of what we've been taught to do, to respond with more violence toward Nature and ourselves -- to face the world as the plunderer, with our obsession we seek to destroy the evil by furthering and expanding our war against a foe we cannot defeat. As we continue to attack Nature, that which we truly have no power over -- we, in truth, merely attack ourselves, and take others with us.

Through the super storms, the droughts, the hurricanes, the seemingly endless die-offs of fish & fowl, the increasing species extinctions, the clear cutting of our forests, the wars, the poverty, we persist with the death urge, the insanity leading, taunting us toward our graves. It is a stabbing lance, a harpoon driven straight through our hearts, gouging our bleeding souls. We push the projectile deeper and deeper into ourselves, hoping to kill the "whale," to kill it off with vengeance, greed, and wrath, for it is all we know.

But, this is only that which is a delusion that pushes us so. A vicious cycle reinforced by itself. It is the death urge that is the prison. It is the madness. It is the fear, or better, it is the fear to change. It is that which we anger against -- that which we must destroy in order to be set free, free of the chains aboard a doomed vessel set sail. We are all caught by a wave of fatalism & monomania, the same death urge we see throughout the culture of today, and our obsession leads us to our doom.

Some may say that all that is necessary is for us to not step on board the fateful ship of civilization, or for us to get off now if we don't like it, but we can no longer refuse to board the ship. We have no choice. We had boarded it upon our birth. We are given an identity and a number. But, we do have the choice to jump off now, into the water, before it's too late. For, unlike Ishmael, if the ship goes down, we have no other ship to come to rescue us out of the raging waters. We are alone in this vast cosmos to save ourselves. And at the moment, there are madmen at the wheel, steering us into oblivion. Yet, just removing the captain will not save us. The purpose and meaning of our voyage must change altogether, and we must remove ourselves from their charge or face death.

Hurricane "Sandy" 2012

Although we in the Transition Culture may see ourselves in the character of Ishmael, or even some of us with the unsuspecting crew, and although we too are orphaned and alienated from the world, and have willfully divorced ourselves from the pathological ambitions of the culture, or are "not party to" the Promethean character of Ahab, we must not forget that we are not yet free from the prison and its fate.

We are still aboard the doomed ship of civilization. We can boast of our knowledge of the state of the world and where we are headed, we can feel secure in our separation from the culture of destruction, we can be confident that we will have the mental capacity to absorb what may happen next, but we will never be safe from the abyss of misery the world will suffer unless we take action to steer the ship in another direction. Nature will not discriminate between us or the countless zombies still hypnotized by the false promises of the dominant culture when it begins to sink all of us into the depths of despair. Like Ahab, madmen at the helm of civilization will fight against nature with us trapped aboard all the way down to its doom.

Ishmael had a chance in the story, but we will not as long as we remain silent. Like Ishmael as he was being washed from the sinking ship, we may have relinquished our fear of the death of industrial civilization, accepting it, but we will not survive unless we stop the madmen at the helm. They may never awaken from their arrogant blindness and lust for power, even when the end is nigh, even with the wrath of Nature right at their doorstep, but we still have a chance to take the wheel from them before they destroy our world and take us along with them. Right now Mother Nature is on our side. She is awakening to assist us in bringing the ship a' stern. She is weakening the monomaniacs and their system enslaving the world with her fury. It is now up to us to fight with her or go down with the ship.


UPDATE: Since this essay is the highest viewed on the site, I thought I would share this interview that Michael C. Ruppert had with our essayist Christopher from September of 2012. Also, I'm very pleased to announce that Christoper has agreed to submit essays for TRC once more. Mike was a fan and I remain one. I hope you will come back soon for more soul food from Christopher. We need it more than ever.





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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Moment of Clarity : Election 2012: RESULTS!

TRC contributor Lee Camp

Obama, Akin, Warren, legitimate rape, marriage equality, marijuana, and more.   By the end of this four minutes, you will know everything you need to about what happened last night in election 2012.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

If Money Equals Speech ~ What Does Free Press Mean?

TRC founder/editor Gabrielle Price

"Let each man say what he chooses; if because of this I am criticized by the ignorant, I shall not be chastised by the learned." - Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605-15)


We're approaching the end of election day here in the United States.  Whether we're actually united or not is difficult to assess if we're to rely on mainstream media as a snapshot of the public sentiment.  We can't, of course, rely on status quo media when polls are skewed, numbers are fudged and the largest amount of money ever spent on an election is louder than the American public it claims to serve.

Money buys a lot of things -- like the press.  Those who own the press control its message -- which means there there are no checks and balances left in mainstream media.  They aren't paid to protect the democratic process, they are paid to push political agendas.  Part of the reason this is the most expensive election in history, is because media monopoly has the ability to keep the cost of advertising so high that only candidates with the biggest corporate coffers [the 1%] are able to compete in their farce of a 'public forum'. 

The actual information that citizens require to make any informed decisions, is available online, if one is inclined to use it to its full advantage. I'm a firm believer that ignorance is a choice in the age of information.

I've been raised around computers and computer geeks my entire life, which made me savvier than most considering the advice was everywhere if I cared to ask for it.  When the internet first came into my abode -- it was 1995 -- and I was thrilled to dive in and surf the information waves on a piecemeal PC and slow as molasses dial up connection.

For an information junkie and avid reader -- the thought of the 'world wide web' was exciting to me.  A new frontier that could be used for amazing applications toward the greater good.  My mind would spin at the idea of being able to connect to sites in Europe, to virtually tour museums and libraries, perhaps even read from the pages of a book older than the state I lived in -- even a book older than my country.  One of the amazing things I've learned through this technological gift, was more about my family's ancestry.  This was knowledge that had a profound effect on me personally and may never have come to light in my lifetime, if not for this technology.

Later in 1995, I decided I wanted to study programming, with the goal of aiding investigations of child predators online.  As much as I saw the internet as a wonderful tool for learning -- I also saw the potential of it being misused in a very sinister way.  Little did I know...

Needless to say, my education took me in an entirely different direction than I'd set out on initially.  The internet evolved so quickly that the programming side seemed to make me feel 'held back' from riding the best part of the surf.  Programming made me feel like I would forever be paddling to reach the wave.

It's been quite an experience since, especially with the advent of social media sites which started with Friendster for me [then Myspace...then Facebook].  The most interesting thing I see now, with the rise of groups like Occupy and especially Anonymous, is the internet almost 'devolving' [in a good way] back to its roots in programming language, most notably open source, which leaves me with a twinge of regret for not hitting those books just a little harder.  Now we have "For Dummies" books on everything from Linux to social media -- marry that with the internet and it is like an underground college.  The best part is that this college is literally free.

And like free speech, I highly suggest we use it or lose it.

I personally look forward to something that competes with Facebook as a social hub in future, now that it has become a spying mechanism for corporate government.  The programming it takes to avoid the pitfalls of keeping the internet 'free and open' yet also secure, has been worked on in this 'underground college' for longer than you care to imagine.  I'm delighted about that.  You should be, too.  I find myself paddling to keep up yet again.

The most notable thing about open source is the vast amount of communal work that goes into building these secure infrastructures, yet many of these tools are absolutely free to use.  It's almost always been this way.  The folks who do this work have truly developed a virtual gift economy that works, because they do the work out of a sheer love of the technology and respect for free speech -- not to mention the privacy of anyone who wishes to exercise it without feeling exposed to a nosey narc of a co-worker or an authoritarian police presence. Let's face it -- the largest social media companies are getting worse.  The corporate monopoly is getting smaller every day.  And when you can't tell the government apart from corporations, we're deep in Orwellian territory.

Now we have a government that spends vast amounts of money on the largest security hammer and soon every voice of dissent against corporate rule will look like a nail.  The passage of the NDAA makes many who would normally speak out, cower and hide behind the pleasant visage of the current Big Brother.  Whatever happens today after the polls close is simply a continuation of Empire -- a 'changing of the guard' tourist attraction outside the military industrial complex and nothing more.  America seems content to go through the motions, feeling that this is their only weapon in the fight against an evil 'other' -- and this applies to both parties, by design.  It's what Chomsky calls Manufactured Consent.

Corporations have spent historic amounts of money on this 'pick the least annoying fascist' election in particular. Of special note is the ballot initiative in California to label GMO foods -- the level of disinformation to confuse voters on this issue was staggering.  Most would imagine that just labeling the damn food would be cheaper at this point.  The fact is that these food [and chemical] companies are well entrenched in government and have already spent obscene amounts lobbying to get exactly where they are.  But to avoid the simple act of labeling products when the majority of other countries already do should be enough to make anyone rethink what they're eating, let alone who they vote for. To fight your customer base by spending AGAINST what they obviously want should be a huge warning flag. And it was -- Monsanto and Obama failed to forget that we can Google that. Now we know who sits at the helm of the FDA and who put him there.

Propaganda is the tool of corporations -- they call it PR. What it really amounts to is whitewashing, or the ability to hire high paid bullshitters to convince the public that they work in their best interests.  Meanwhile lobbyists are busy massaging the law to work for them by greasing every open palm in Washington to ensure those laws that result in the biggest profits or contracts are the ones that get passed.  The public 'need to know' and thus, the public good is secondary.  We don't have lobbyists -- and they think all we have is a vote.  They fail to see that the internet brought a different democratic process -- one the public realized it had been missing for far too long. 

This was globalization they never counted on -- our voices and a free and open internet in which to address grievances, organize and mobilize.  The globalization of information also brought news of atrocities that our own country had wrought on other shores -- some also happening here now -- which are creating personal connections between all those effected.  We found common bonds with others around the world and realized we were not enemies...but that we shared a common enemy.

The day the SCOTUS opened the floodgates for more corporate money to flow uninhibited into what was left of the democratic process -- was the day I saw democracy thrown overboard to drown in a sea of propaganda.  Both parties took on the same hue by equally [and shamelessly] kissing corporate backsides.  Many people have tried to revive democracy since the SCOTUS decision but it has since been waterboarded, wiretapped, pepper sprayed, irradiated, fracked, droned, drilled, foreclosed on and sold to the highest bidders -- the disaster capitalists and the banking cartel who spent on BOTH candidates in this election and of course, Wall Street, the bookie who bets against this country because the house always wins.  It gets taxpayer bailouts and the country gets austerity...complete with mafia bully tactics if you dare to protest against your serfdom. [Sound familiar? See: Greece]

Realize this corrupt system isn't too big to fail. In fact, ancient history, hubris and physics dictate that it must collapse.  Today, Americans decided who would be in charge of overseeing it.  I still contend that it is important to vote locally, where leadership will count the most as it will impact you where you live.  I'll be watching the skewed poll numbers come in, making note of whether the Green Party made a dent in the race, if GMOs will be labeled despite the horrible disinfo campaign to stop it, still glad to have heard the third party debates delivered to my laptop [from foreign lands] and hoping that America starts thinking outside the idiot box and past the ballot box hangover tomorrow.  Free press needs your support more than ever.

When you hear it repeated by mainstream media that this is the most expensive election in history, please remember you live in a country where the Supreme Court says that money now equals speech. The media monopoly has simply insured that the biggest liars have to spend the most, which makes them easy to spot and keeps journalists like me rather busy calling all the bullshit.* 

 *In fact, I'm getting carpal tunnel, so I'm working on launching radio programming with some comrades and video updates -- announcement coming this week!


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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Moment of Clarity : How Hurricane Sandy Is A Good Thing

TRC contributor Lee Camp


President Obama and Mitt Romney have hardly mentioned climate change. While that's a good start, I think they need to take it a step further.