Up To Us


To the Editors (AVA, UDJ):

Up To Us

Floods, drought, natural fires, hurricanes, violent storms, massive species extinction, infrastructure collapse, terrorist attacks, food riots, starvation, economic disaster, peak oil, climate change, water shortages, food shortages, soil depletion, wars, rumors of wars, entitlement slashing, and political ineptitude seem now to be reaching critical mass. Will technology save us? How about ideology? Don’t want to think about it?

Here on Mendo Island, it’s much easier to just go to the beach, or drift off in a purple haze of giggly weed. Surely someone is going to figure all this out and save us. Someone? Anyone? Where are you?

Nope, up to us… up to you… and up to our local communities. We will get through this with local mutual aid or we will not get through this at all.

The world economy and corrupt politicos are bringing us down. Local economies and community-level solutions can bring us forward to a simpler, saner, sustainable living.

Here are some ideas and inspiration to google: shareable, resilience circles and transition towns.


I agree, who wouldnt? I think what also needs to happen is to expand our viewpoints. In a talk I gave in Ukiah about 3 weeks ago I spoke about how it was essential that the three main categories of the great turning via Joanna Macy: 1. resistance, 2. new structures, and 3. personal consciousness changes… will all have to go deeper as well as connecting with each other. Can you imagine? Resisters talking with new age altered consciousness people and new structure people talking to both camps. Some are easier to imagine and some are not.. if they appear unimaginable, perhaps thats the one we ought to pursue since it aint gonna get easier folks. Its gonna be extremely challenging. I showed the Farmageddon film in santa cruz and the people I stayed with didnt really like what I was saying so I suggested: OK, lets talk about fear of death, lets assume you did #3 and you worked it out where you were no longer fearful of death, whether it was because of iboga or ayahuasca or whatever.. how would it affect your activism? One woman who only heard part of my question chirped in by saying she would want a harem of men; the more activist inclined woman said she wouldnt hesitate sitting in front of a bulldozer. See the connection?

Some other questions: how can #1: Resistance go deeper? Derrick Jensen has a new book out called Deep Green Resistance: http://deepgreenresistance.org/ (perhaps confrontation and orchestrating more direct action is a way to go deeper);
#2: the new structures need to go deeper, i.e., CSAs are fun but lets do them in our neighborhood front lawns as Kipp Nash has done in Boulder: http://hopedance.org/home/food-news/553, and
#3 needs to go deeper as in yes behavior change is wonderful, go to a farmers market, etc but what about really feeling our “oneness”, really viscerally feeling that what we do to others we do to ourselves… or working with the idea of: “Separation is an illusion” until it tingles with reality…. things like that!
thanks Dave for creating this blog… if people missed my films, conversation and laughter yoga session in Ukiah, at the Mec, please see http://www.hopedance.org/other-news/2030 and Im making plans to come back in about 4 months!

Agreed, local interaction, cooperation, all that. But no local entity can wing it, ultimately, without major macro changes on a global scale. Certainly the international “money” system will retain its tentacle-like siphoning of resources from all local communities until our younger generation can effectively change the common semantic confusion between “privacy” and “private property”. We should not be “accumulating” capital, and we won’t in a world where service is the capital. Money and its constructs, sooner or later, will reflect a service oriented values system. Then, money won’t be flowing down every profit sewer “enterprise” would (and currently does) install. Even locally, we don’t need more gift shops and, as one local right wing letter writer (UDJ) observed, “artsy fartsy” venues – and at this moment, I feel the limitation of sequenced words. Too many Republicans and corporations to slay out there!

Yes, the Tea Party and their ilk on the right are a bunch of nuts. How do I know? Well, they agree with me on practically nothing. Hopedance on the other hand is speaking my language, so they must be right? The Tea Party wants to bring down government. If they manage it, they arguably will also bring down the whole economic mess. Yah, Social Security and yah, those who want to control our food sources, make sure we wear seatbelts, insist on bombing and killing all over the world in the name of freedom, and lock us away if we’re caught trading dope or raw milk or stealing – as long as what we steal isn’t too big and we’re not too big to go to jail. You lose some, you win some. But the biggest win may be the salvation of the world from the long death of global warming and a long list of terminal environmental devastations. There is certainly little evidence we on the left are able to remedy much of anything, though we love to talk about it endlessly. So, maybe we should be applauding the Tea Party?

    at least have a conversation.. I think there may be more similarities… the green party was against the smart meters and so was the tea party. never heard how the meeting went. even starhawk in her workshops includes imagining being with someone you disagree with.. we ought to have been doing that for decades.. but perhaps we fell into a more conflicted time line. the dalai lama says we are in the age of collaboration… perhaps thats our time line (http://exopermaculture.com/2011/06/20/bill-ryan-feels-what-inelia-benz-feels-and-together-they-call-for-action/).. to collaborate between the three categories I outlined above. thats gonna be difficult enough rather than include all the people who actually and really oppose us… but if we work wth the notion that we are all one, then we better get to know who opposes us and be love, strong love, not passive love. Hows this one? Lets die before we die and see how our “thinking” changes us. There a story of an environmentalist who awoke and he kept doing the same thing, but had lots more fun.. still had meetings and what not, still strategized but was lighter, his passion for the earth was even more pronounced but he wasnt attached to outcomes: http://hopedance.org/media-reviews/books/1950
    ciao for now
    ps. check out this video: about 7 min: http://hopedance.org/community-media/videos/914