Before I leave this site, I feel obliged to utter a plea into the void. I believe that building resilient, real-life communities is the most important thing we can be doing now. Although technology could be useful for facilitating human connection, at this point the barriers seem impenetrable. Corporate control of the internet limits our options and algorithmically censors. More importantly, decades of behavior change has lead most of us to remain stuck in a consumptive mode – scroll, click, watch, but don't think too deeply, and don't conspire to organize in real life. I don't see this pattern changing until enough people realize the shallow emptiness of this way of being and then muster the courage to go looking for flesh-and-blood community.
I wish I had a reliable script for "how to create a resilient community". Sure, I've read the books from the 70's. There's no shortage of ideas. Since I'm oriented toward hands-on building, I'd love to work on a small community of roundhouses, with common space for gardens and trades. But as far as working and living together, handling conflicts and responsibility, I'm starting from an almost blank slate. One of the tragedies of our time is our loss of this basic cultural inheritance: how to survive together without industrial capitalism mediating our relationships and needs.
I observe lots of folks who also want the things I mentioned, and yet they're unable to get together to bring it to life. There are a few factors, including economic precarity that restricts people from taking risks. But I think the individualism and alienation forced on us by the system is a bigger impediment. In the 70's, people were more willing to drop out and work on something bigger than themselves. After a few decades of rejection of hippie hedonism in favor of "greed is good" conspicuous consumption, we've swung to the point where young people individually compete on social media to "build their brands", to hustle, to commodify their image in order to pay the bills. Nihilism reigns. When folks are politically engaged, it's for the purpose of begging for an ever-bigger system to take care of them. Even if we're not all striving to become "influencers", we're all subtly damaged by this sick society.
Where are the folks who understand the system is doomed and want to choose a more fulfilling way of being? Who wants to cast aside our culture's narcissism and start scraping together a solidarity culture that will last? Who wants to stake out a particular place, in a particular ecosystem, and care for it as a steward of the land? Who are the ones walking away from Omelas?
I'm sure some of you are out there. I want to help, in any way I can, with the urgency this task requires. But it's not going to happen on Facebook. If you want help walking away, or want to work on something together, contact me: contact
On my primitive website, you can also poke around and see other stuff I've been up to. I'll try to update it as new things happen.
I hope we meet again.