Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Red pill or blue pill?

Do you take the blue pill? You wake up in a car dealership. It's a Saturday. You are presented with a bill for $472.81 to fix your car, which you mainly use for commuting to work and running errands. Despite working at your job diligently all week long, you have no food to eat, and need to stop for groceries. To save time on your precious day off, you get fast food on the way there. Your waist expands, you are now a statistic in the obesity epidemic. All the drudgery and lack of beauty of city life leads you to become part of the one in ten people in industrialized countries who takes anti-depressants regularly. You drink more alcohol than you think you ought to, and wonder why those who live in cities are twice as likely to develop schizophrenia, all else equal. You have lots of bills to pay with more on the way. You try to relax, but with all your debt your mind keeps drifting to the fact that as your weekend comes to a close you must be ready to be back on work - with it's employer-employee money-based relations - Monday morning at 8 a.m. sharp.

Take the red pill? You wake up in the country side. You have no advanced technology, and no electricity, because that would require a system of debt and money-based relations, and unremitting toil to keep it all running. You have no possessions, other than your clothes and basic tools and cookware. Your shelter is basic, just enough to keep out the wind and rain. You rely on a community of handicrafting for your necessities. Some grow flax, some extract fibres from the flax, some weave those fibres into linens. Some brew beer. Some hunt deer. Your only requirement for the day is to get a bit of food by harvesting it or by barter, and to help out others around you in your community. Otherwise you can relax with your family and pursue your hobbies. Medical help is basic. No police, no government, and no taxes, no asphalt, no cars, no smog, no debt. Lots of fresh air. Does this sound like a crazy way to live? Unheard of? It's of course how people lived for the tens of thousands of years before the industrial revolution and the advent of capitalism. It's how indigenous people live. It's sustainable, and there are many people across the world who have not been put to the wheel of capitalism who live this way today.

“Before our white brothers arrived to make us civilized men, we didin't have any kind of prison. Because of this, we didn't have any delinquents. Without a prison, there can't be no delinquents. We had no locks nor keys therefore among us there were no thieves. When someone was so poor that he couldn't afford a horse, a tent or a blanket, he would, in that case, receive it all as a gift. We were too uncivilized to give great importance to private property. We didn't know any kind of money and consequently, the value of a human being was not determined by his wealth. We had no written laws laid down, no lawyers, no politicians, therefore we were not able to cheat and swindle one another. We were really in bad shape before the white man arrived and I don't know how to explain how we were able to manage without these fundamental things that (so they tell us) are so necessary for a civilized society.” 
― John (Fire) Lame Deer

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