I’ve long thought that this blog may seem to be a mishmash of things – some Permaculture, some Unschooling, some Voluntaryism. To me the three are closely linked: To me the three is all about being the change I want to see in the world, it is about taking personal responsibility. In the Permaculture Design Manual Mollinson and Holmgren writes something about how we shouldn’t try to fix the problems in the institutions of the world, but rather turn our backs to them and build our own – if ours work, people will gather to them – that is how we prove that a system works. In the Voluntaryist world this is called Agorism – if we ignore the current systems as much as we can and build our own, we will gradually render the current systems obsolete. Mollison and Holmgren also writes about how we should have one final committee meeting to abolish all committees, because nothing but personal resposibility works.
I know many many permies who march against Monstanto, or for a better wealth distribution, or to move the politicians to do something about Climate Change, they also want schools to teach permaculture – esp. permaculture ethics. All the while – the social economics chapter in the Permaculture Design Manual teaches us how to avoid paying taxes… How to initiate a gift economy, a barter economy – or even make our own currency (like Permacredits).
Why is that? Who will protect us against pollution if not the state? Who will educate our kids? Who will help the poor? Who will end Monsanto?
I don’t know how much you pay in taxes – but imagine that you could decide which parts of the state administration you wanted to contribute to? Like – OK, I want good public schools, I want good hospitals, I don’t want to pay for the war in the Middle East, I don’t want to pay for the salary for politicians in the EU or for border control, immigration “services”, toll – that keeps third world products out of our markets – or farming subsidies. Wouldn’t you like that? But you can’t – you are forced to pay for the war in the Middle East – which by now has lasted most of my adult life… You are forced to pay for border control that prevents Mexicans from coming into the US and Africans from coming into the EU. You are forced to pay for farming subsidies, which in turn, pays the bills to Monstanto for the farmer… If you could chose what to contribute to – it would not be government, but a Voluntary society.
I am forced to pay for a school-system, which I think is teaching kids to accept this system… it is actually written in to the law of schools that they shall raise kids for democracy. This, the school system, is the foundation for this lunacy to go on. If I want the world to change I need to let my kids be free – also to make decisions I don’t agree with. I need them to question everything – including me. I will have to not teach my kids to take orders from a stranger, just because this stranger has a title – but teach them to listen to their own morals and reason. But what if I am labelled a “anti-government terrorist” (politicians in the US and the UK are trying to get laws passed that would label me as such) – could they be taken away from me? How safe am I really? How safe are they? Am I allowed to raise my kids not to believe in Democracy? I Germany they say no, here in Spain they try to say no – in spite of their own constitution saying that I have the right to raise my kids in accordance with my own religion, ethics and political convictions. Even in Denmark the free school law says that kids shall be raised to democracy.
I want to raise my kids not just do as the politicians says just because they have written it down on a piece of paper and calls it law. To not just do as I say just because I am a grown-up. To not just do as the police says, because they are police, and the politicians have written words on a piece of paper, and calls it law, and says that the police has “authority” to tell them what to do. To not just do what a teacher tells them because they have the title teacher. I want them to follow moral and reasoning, not learn to take orders.
How many poor people could we help? How many mommys and daddys could stay at home with their kids if they wanted to? How many ideas could we come up with to help single parents get by, without being forced to send their kids into a public daycare and school-system they don’t support? How much money would we free up to make permaculture projects that rock? How much could we do by voluntary means if we were not forced to contribute to this system?
Instead of begging politicians to give us the things we want, or to help the people we want them to help – how about we refuse to pay for the things we find immoral? How about we start taking personal responsibility?
We have to realize that these western democracies that we pride ourselves with, are the most destructive forces on earth right now. Now we may have the “right to free speech”, but “we” – through our tax-money – are supporting horrible dictators in the third world. “We” may have windmills and solar-panels – but most of the pollution going on in the third world comes from our consumption. Eg. Denmark who prides it-self of being so so green – has one of the highest carbon footprints in the world – because of the import of soy, which has been grown on felled rainforest, to feed pigs. Pigs that lie in their own dirt all day, pigs which have penicillin resistant bacteria, which kill people – and then we want the politicians to outlaw Foie Gras…
But what about Monsanto? They are killing the bees! Yes, and your tax money contributes to that. Instead of trying to get laws passed that make this one neonicotinoids illegal, stop paying taxes that support farmers and industries that use these neonicotinoids. Get bees, support bees, plant flowers that will feed the bees, buy organic honey. And stop supporting the system. You will never ever get as much power to influence the politicians as Monsanto has. Never! You get one law passed, they get ten new that works for them.
How about Global Warming? We need to stop it! Do you realise how much oil is used on these perpetual wars? And then you are asked, not not asked, forced, to use low quality lights in your house to save a little energy? Seriously? Your tax-money contribute every day to F16s, F14s burning more oil than you could use in a year! Government is not stopping any pollution – government is racket for pollution.
How about the super rich? We need to tax them! So who owns the factories, that produce the air-planes and the bombs that you pay for? Who owns Monsanto? Who owns the banks that your tax-money helped bail out? Do you really believe that there will ever be a system that can prevent this, as long as people are forced to pay for government solutions they don’t agree with? So long as the children are taught that it is their duty to support this system?
We may have “human rights” – but our money killed 150.000 civilians in the last war against Iraq. Our boycott of Iraq in the 90’s is estimated to have killed 500.000 civilians – for lack of food and medicine. This is what your tax money is used for. We used to support Assad remember? Then we supported the rebels, and now we are fighting ISIS – I say we, because as long as you and I are paying for it, we are participating. Now I am not doing this voluntarily. I am only contributing because otherwise, men with guns would come and take me away from my kids.
How about you?
Permaculture is a way of opting out – if I can grow my own food and produce my own energy – I no longer have to contribute to an immoral system – or at least not as much. But setting up trust-fonds and using bartering and alternative currencies – I am actively taking my support away. I will do everything in my power to make sure that my life, my energy does not contribute to this system – or contributes as little as I can possibly get away with. I will do everything in my power to build new voluntary options – where people can help each other, voluntarily – without the threat of violence.
How about you?
Unschooling is a way of opting out of this system: To not put my kids into an institution where they have to ask permission to speak, permession to go to the bathroom, permission to go on holiday. To not put them into a system where they have to do as they are told, just because the teacher says so. A system where they are not allowed to quit if they don’t agree. Instead I will use my time to make options for kids to learn all they want, when they want. To socialize all they want, with whom they want, in the way they want. Where they can influence what they learn and from whom and how – and where they have the right to quit if they don’t like it. So that they learn to listen to them selves, to their own moral compass, to say no if something is not right. To cooperate voluntarily, and not accept majority rule.
How about you?
Voluntaryism, or anarchy, means to accept that I have no right to rule you or tell you what to do, as long as you do not agress against me. Democracy agress against me every day, when it forces me to contribute to wars against people who have done nothing against me. Democracy agress against me every day when it forces me to contribute to co-operations who pollute all over the world. Democracy agress against me, when it forces me to pay for police, that can force me to put my kids into schools, where they will learn that this system is just and good. I will not agress against the people who believe in Democracy, they can have it, but I refuse to support the system anymore.
How about you?