Hypocrisy vs. Rewilding
Inevitably those-who-rewild will find themselves attacked as hypocrites by those who don’t understand rewilding: “If you hate civilization so much, why don’t you go live in the woods?” “You hate technology, but there you sit waiting for people to comment on your latest facebook status update.” “You want to live like a hunter-gatherer but you buy all your food at the grocery store!” “You talk shit on mainstream media, but you watch television!” And on, and on and on.
Imagine the Titanic in your mind. Let’s pretend a few people notice the Titanic has started to sink. Not many believe them yet. The people get on the loud speaker on the ship and say, “The Titanic has started to sink! We need to get the lifeboats in the water!” The people on board the ship say, “If you think the Titanic won’t stay afloat, why don’t you jump ship?”
The people look curiously at one another in amazement and respond, “…Um. Okay, we’ll just take one of these life rafts down and…”
“No, you can’t have a life raft.”
“Why not? We see the ship sinking, we need a life raft.”
“Sorry, but if you think the ship won’t stay afloat, then you can’t have a life raft because it came from the ship that you believe has started to sink. It would look hypocritical for you to use a life raft from a ship you believe cannot stay afloat.”
Just because we do not like the way the culture stands, and wish to live differently, does not give us the ability to do so without any help. We can’t use technology to help us get away from technology? Why not? Says who? What kind of sense does that make? It doesn’t make sense. So why do people continue to argue this? Because they don’t want to accept it. It relates back to the “denial shield” of labeling the philosophy of rewilding as “doom and gloom”.Â Hypocrisy exists solely as a straw man argument to shut down real conversations.
I do not live as a hypocrite. I can simultaneously critique a culture for that which I cannot escape. Prisoners in a prison who do not wish to live as prisoners do not live as hypocrites. They live as prisoners who want to get the fuck out. We live as prisoners to civilization and its technology. Hypocrisy lies in the same bed as guilt; I feel guilty for acting like a hypocrite and staying indoors on a sunny day. But those feelings make absolutely no sense because I bet an inmate in prison who hates the prison doesn’t feel guilty for not walking out of the prison gate.
I know of a few people who live deep in the woods with little to no modern technology. But they live alone or in small groups, and still heavily depend on industrial civilization. They generally live off its excess. While they live in a way that I would rather live than the way I live at the moment, even far off in the woods we still live as slaves to civilization, industrialization and technology. The overall cultural momentum of civilization has more power than small pockets of subcultures.
The hypocrisy straw man lies with people who do not understand the cultural and physical barriers that prevent people from rewilding.Â It also stems from a puritan, fundamentalist outlook of the world; if you believe that civilization does not work, then you can’t have anything to do with it what-so-ever.
I actually don’t condemn technology. I condemn the culture that made it. I have no qualms using this laptop for example. Yes, an industrialized society (that I hate) made this laptop. But it doesn’t matter because: Industrial societies cannot have sustainability and will collapse. I hate this culture for destroying the planet to make these laptops. I also know that the culture will not last. In the moment though, I can use this technology to prepare people for life without it and to create a new way of living. I can leverage the technology against itself. And I plan to do that… just after I beat this next level.
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