Doom and Gloom Vs. Rewilding
Whenever I get to talking about how fucked up this culture is and how much it is fucking up the planet, someone inevitably writes me off as just preaching doom and gloom without “realistic” solutions. Generally what they actually mean is solutions [sic] that will prevent them from having to fundamentally change the way they live their life.
For example, as I’ve said before; there is no energy crisis. There is an excess of energy being consumed by rich people for frivolous things that help keep them richer and make slavery easier. Like me actually, right now, writing on my energy consuming laptop, in an energy consuming environmentally controlled room sipping on my energy consuming imported black tea (shipping, processing blah blah blah) in the richest country in the world. The energy “crisis” simply means I won’t be able to consume as much energy as I have been for the majority of my life… unless we figure out some crazy new way to harness energy for more stupid bullshit that will really only help this culture devour the world that much faster. Whenever we get to the point in a conversation about the “energy crisis” that there is no viable energy “solution” people shut me down.
When we get to the part about “there is no viable energy solution”, we could move to questioning the cultural foundation of energy consumption and approach it from a different angle altogether. If I were to point out this insanity, that the majority of the world does not use much energy at all, and that we just need to change our habits, domesticated people shit themselves and start pointing fingers and putting up a doom and gloom shield of denial. This has perplexed me for some time. I’m like. Dude. Put down your game controller and use your imagination again. Turn off the heat and put on a furry animal skin. Go collect some leaves and steep a native tea plant. We don’t need “energy”. As a species, we lived without it (at least in terms of electricity) for millions of years. Humanity does not need electricity, domesticated humans need electricity, to keep themselves domesticated.
People are so removed from real life, are so comfortable in the prisons they have created to keep themselves domesticated, that they forget that a more wild life is actually more interesting, more compelling, more sensuous, more alive, more passionate, more human than the human-made, energy consuming environments we (the richest in the world) now live in. We don’t have an energy problem; we have a consumption problem. We have a consumption problem because we have a population problem. We have a population problem because we have a food production problem (agriculture) combined with a social structure problem (Empire).Â Do we wish to address the symptoms or the cause? From a rewilding perspective, the energy crisis is not that we don’t have enough power to run our factories, it’s that we have enough energy to run factories (and enslave people to work in them). And then again, it’s not an energy crisis because energy consumption is a symptom of empire and agriculture. For solutions to these problems, we have to completely change the way we see the world. Anything less will not work. It’s not rocket science people.
“So you’re saying we should just die, than?” What? Where did that come from? It’s funny when you bring up the harsh reality of the problems facing us, this is the response of the civilized. A major problem with domesticated humans is that they cannot see their own domestication. They can’t even see what a life would be like without the systems of domestication, so much so that when faced with the probability of losing those systems they quickly assume that death is the only alternative. They believe that life without domestication, is death.
Rewilding humans are the ones who have fully accepted the implications of environmental destruction. At some point along the journey of rewilding, a shift occurs and everything flips on it’s head. What sounds pessimistic to domesticated humans sounds optimistic to rewilding humans. What sounds like doom and gloom to domesticated humans sounds like doom and bloom to rewilding humans. What sounds like death to domesticated humans sounds like rebirth, freedom and the end of slavery to rewilding humans.
People are afraid of seeming to radical. They are afraid of scaring people away from the reality. I don’t know how many times I have heard people say these phrases: “they are not ready to hear it” or “don’t scare away potential allies with stories of doom and gloom”. Ugh. People love to project their own stories onto others. What they are really saying is “I’m afraid of telling them what’s really going on in case they think I’m crazy” or probably more accurately, “I’m still too afraid of the reality we face to talk about it with others.”
People hear that things are totally fucked up. The foundation of our lives is fucked up. Rather than coming up with plans to deal with this, they say that a dismantling of the current structure and a reorganization of the foundation is “unrealistic”. This is much like people on the titanic saying that taking apart part of the ship and building life rafts is “unrealistic”. So rather than find allies who actual feel the same way, they spend their time rearranging gardens on the titanic. Oh but it’s all good cause they did so using permaculture principles so were totally in the clear. Thank you permaculture!
When domesticated humans say “realistic” solutions they mean activities that will be accepted by a mass audience (or more accurately a small audience of rich white men) and funded (which generally means not challenging the real problems but the symptoms because it comes from rich white men who want to stay rich). Rewilding humans see “realistic” solutions as solutions that take the reality of environmental collapse and cultural collapse as grounding factors. Realistic solutions are the ones that will not get funded by corporations or institutions of slavery and domestication.
Years ago I had a grant-writing friend of mine look over a grant I wrote for some Urban Scout thing. Afterward he said right away, “Peter. Never, ever, ever use the words ‘economic collapse’ in a grant. You’re trying to get money from rich people. They don’t want to hear about their money going away.” I’ve thought long and hard about this over time. I’ve tried to write grants disguising rewilding as something else but always fail. In the end I think that he is right, I probably wouldn’t get funded by a large foundation in that way. But I also think that he is wrong in general. The more quiet I am, the less likely I will be to build an awareness for rewilding and real solutions. I commend the people who work quietly and invisibly within the system, but their work will never quite address the real changes that need to occur, because the system that they are working in is flawed. The louder I am, the more honest we can be from the begining, the stronger and faster a real response will take place. There are people out there with resources who want to rewild. Who get it. And there are people out there who don’t get it yet, but will. The louder I am and the more truthful, the more people can start working together.
Domesticated humans use the “Doom and Gloom” shield to prevent conversations from occurring that involve fundamental cultural shifts. It’s a denial shield, projected onto rewilding humans. This is apparent with their next statement, putting words in your mouth (you’re saying we should die!?!) to make rewilding humans sound crazy. First shut down the conversation because it’s scary, then project your own fears onto the person in an attempt to make them sound crazy so you feel better about your own decisions. The human brain has amazing manipulation capacities… especially the farmed ones.
For a long time I have hated this, as I wish desperately to get people to honestly respond to collapse. But in reality, not all of us will survive the collapse. And while I may die, and other rewilding humans may die, domesticated humans will certainly die. How’s that for harsh reality? It’s ironic that their assumption; “you’re saying we should just die then?” is exactly what will happen to them if they continue to address only the symptoms. They are the real doom and gloom. By refusing to look at the problems they just make them worse for themselves and everyone else in the end. Rewilding is the exact opposite of the things they project onto it. The ones not willing to let go of their cultural foundations of slavery, of domestication, will die. If they can’t let go of their cultural roots, they will not let go of many other things in life. This will eventually kill them as collapse intensifies. It’s killing them right now as a matter of fact, as they sit in their environmentally controlled coffee shops, on their energy consuming laptops, sipping on imported black tea… oh… um. wait… Nooooooooo!!!
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