Saturday, December 5, 2015

children of our mother

the following are the words of yashua, or jesus. in the data and years after he lived, his message was perverted, his words were censored, and the dark and terrifying religion of christianity carried their violence to all end of the earth, silencing the words of truth wherever they were found.

thankfully, some of the original works and stories have been recovered. the following text is from the essene gospel of peace, liberated from the secret archives of the catholic church.

may the true words of yashua bring healing to all parts of our being.

"The light of our eyes, the hearing of our ears, both are born of the colors and the sounds of our Earthly Mother; which enclose us about, as the waves of the sea a fish, as the eddying air a bird.

"I tell you in very truth, Man is the Son of the Earthly Mother, and from her did the Son of Man receive his whole body, even as the body of the newborn babe is born of the womb of his mother. I tell you truly, you are one with the Earthly Mother; she is in you, and you in her. Of her were you born, in her do you live, and to her shall you return again. Keep, therefore, her laws, for none can live long, neither be happy, but he who honors his Earthly Mother and does her laws. For your breath is her breath; your blood her blood; your bone her bone; your flesh her flesh; your bowels her bowels; your eyes and your ears are her eyes and her ears.

"I tell you truly, should you fail to keep but one only of all these laws, should you harm but one only of all your body's members, you shall be utterly lost in your grievous sickness, and there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. I tell you, unless you follow the laws of your Mother, you can in no wise escape death. And he who clings to the laws of his Mother, to him shall his Mother cling also. She shall heal all his plagues, and he shall never become sick. She gives him long life, and protects him from all afflictions; from fire, from water, from the bite of venomous serpents. For your Mother bore you, keeps life within you. She has given you her body, and none but she heals you. Happy is he who loves his Mother and lies quietly in her bosom. For your Mother loves you, even when you turn away from her. And how much more shall she love you, if you turn to her again? I tell you truly, very great is her love, greater than the greatest of mountains, deeper than the deepest seas. And those who love their Mother, she never deserts them. As the hen protects her chickens, as the lioness her cubs, as the mother her newborn babe, so does the Earthly Mother protect the Son of Man from all danger and from all evils.

Monday, November 23, 2015

feral revolution

When I was a very young child, my life was filled with intense pleasure and a vital energy that caused me to feel what I experienced to the full. I was the center of this marvelous, playful existence and felt no need to rely on anything but my own living experience to fulfill me.

I felt intensely, I experienced intensely, my life was a festival of passion and pleasure. My disappointments and sorrows were also intense. I was born a free, wild being in the midst of a society based upon domestication. There was no way that I could escape being domesticated myself. Civilization will not tolerate what is wild in its midst. But I never forgot the intensity that life could be. I never forgot the vital energy that had surged through me. My existence since I first began to notice that this vitality was being drained away has been a warfare between the needs of civilized survival and the need to break loose and experience the full intensity of life unbound.
I want to experience this vital energy again. I want to know the free-spirited wildness of my unrepressed desires realizing themselves in festive play. I want to smash down every wall that stands between me and the intense, passionate life of untamed freedom that I want. The sum of these walls is everything we call civilization, everything that comes between us and the direct, participatory experience of the wild world. Around us has grown a web of domination, a web of mediation that limits our experience, defining the boundaries of acceptable production and consumption.
Domesticating authority takes many forms, some of which are difficult to recognize. Government, capital and religion are some of the more obvious faces of authority. But technology, work, language with its conceptual limits, the ingrained habits of etiquette and propriety — these too are domesticating authorities which transform us from wild, playful, unruly animals into tamed, bored, unhappy producers and consumers. These things work in us insidiously, limiting our imaginations, usurping our desires, suppressing our lived experience. And it is the world created by these authorities, the civilized world, in which we live. If my dream of a life filled with intense pleasure and wild adventure is to be realized, the world must be radically transformed, civilization must fall before expanding wilderness, authority must fall before the energy of our wild freedom. There must be — for want of a better word — a revolution.
But a revolution that can break down civilization and restore the vital energy of untamed desire cannot be like any revolution of the past. All revolutions to date have centered around power, its use and redistribution. They have not sought to eradicate the social institutions that domesticate; at best they have only sought to eradicate the power relationships within those institutions. So revolutionaries of the past have aimed their attacks at the centers of power seeking to overthrow it. Focused on power, they were blind to the insidious forces of domination that encompass our daily existence and so, when successful at overthrowing the powers that be, they ended up re-creating them. To avoid this, we need to focus not on power, but on our desire to go wild, to experience life to the full, to know intense pleasure and wild adventure. As we attempt to realize this desire, we confront the real forces of domination, the forces that we face every moment of every day. These forces have no single center that can be overthrown. They are a web that binds us. So rather than trying to overthrow the powers that be, we want to undermine domination as we confront it every day, helping the already collapsing civilization to break down more quickly and as it falls, the centers of power will fall with it. Previous revolutionaries have only explored the well-mapped territories of power. I want to explore and adventure in the unmapped, and unmappable, territories of wild freedom. The revolution that can create the world I want has to be a feral revolution.
There can be no programs or organizations for feral revolution, because wildness cannot spring from a program or organization. Wildness springs from the freeing of our instincts and desires, from the spontaneous expression of our passions. Each of us has experienced the processes of domestication, and this experience can give us the knowledge we need to undermine civilization and transform our lives. Our distrust of our own experience is probably what keeps us from rebelling as freely and actively as we’d like. We’re afraid of fucking up, we’re afraid of our own ignorance. But this distrust and fear have been instilled in us by authority. It keeps us from really growing and learning. It makes us easy targets for any authority that is ready to fill us. To set up “revolutionary” programs is to play on this fear and distrust, to reinforce the need to be told what to do. No attempt to go feral can be successful when based on such programs. We need to learn to trust and act upon our own feelings and experiences, if we are ever to be free.
So I offer no programs. What I will share is some thoughts on ways to explore. Since we all have been domesticated, part of the revolutionary process is a process of personal transformation. We have been conditioned not to trust ourselves, not to feel completely, not to experience life intensely. We have been conditioned to accept the humiliation of work and pay as inescapable, to relate to things as resources to be used, to feel the need to prove ourselves by producing. We have been conditioned to expect disappointment, to see it as normal, not to question it. We have been conditioned to accept the tedium of civilized survival rather than breaking free and really living. We need to explore ways of breaking down this conditioning, of getting as free of our domestication as we can now. Let’s try to get so free of this conditioning that it ceases to control us and becomes nothing more than a role we use when necessary for survival in the midst of civilization as we strive to undermine it.
In a very general way, we know what we want. We want to live as wild, free beings in a world of wild, free beings. The humiliation of having to follow rules, of having to sell our lives away to buy survival, of seeing our usurped desires transformed into abstractions and images in order to sell us commodities fills us with rage. How long will we put up with this misery? We want to make this world into a place where our desires can be immediately realized, not just sporadically, but normally. We want to re-eroticize our lives. We want to live not in a dead world of resources, but in a living world of free wild lovers. We need to start exploring the extent to which we are capable of living these dreams in the present without isolating ourselves. This will give us a clearer understanding of the domination of civilization over our lives, an understanding which will allow us to fight domestication more intensely and so expand the extent to which we can live wildly.
Attempting to live as wildly as possible now will also help break down our social conditioning. This will spark a wild prankishness in us which will take aim at all that would tame it, undermining civilization and creating new ways of living and sharing with each other. These explorations will expose the limits of civilization’s domination and will show its inherent opposition to freedom. We will discover possibilities we have never before imagined... vast expanses of wild freedom. Projects, ranging from sabotage and pranks that expose or undermine the dominant society, to the expansion of wilderness, to festivals and orgies and general free sharing, can point to amazing possibilities.
Feral revolution is an adventure. It is the daring exploration of going wild. It takes us into unknown territories for which no maps exist. We can only come to know these territories if we dare to explore them actively. We must dare to destroy whatever destroys our wildness and to act on our instincts and desires. We must dare to trust in ourselves, our experiences and our passions. Then we will not let ourselves be chained or penned in. We will not allow ourselves to be tamed. Our feral energy will rip civilization to shreds and create a life of wild freedom and intense pleasure.
- feral faun
First published in Demolition Derby #1, 1988, Montréal, Québec-Canada
also printed in “Anarchy: A Journal Of Desire Armed” Issue #19 May-July 1989
and Feral: A Journal Towards Wildness #1 Spring 1999
republished by Elephant Editions (London) 2000/2001 in the collection “Feral Revolution”

Thursday, September 24, 2015

mosquito's kiss

make love to me,

sink into my flesh.

remind me what it is to feel, to be alive.

how many times in my fear of love

have i shunned you, shut you out?

how many times in my busy mind have i violently

and mercilessly attacked your attempts to connect?

but my love, tonight is a night of passion

of tenderness, of full embrace.

your kiss lingers long after you have gone,

but i know you will come again.

and again, once more under the sentient stars

wrapped beneath the cold blanket of night,

will you sink into my pulsing veins,

pulling my life blood into your fiery belly,

to nourish the seed of life which pulses and breathes

pulses and grows within us all.

sink your needle into my skin.

give me your medicine.

fiery, intimate, and subtler than the sea

is the love between mosquito and me.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

doing the dishes

“To my mind, the idea that doing dishes is unpleasant can occur only when you aren’t doing them. Once you are standing in front of the sink with your sleeves rolled up and your hands in the warm water, it is really quite pleasant. I enjoy taking my time with each dish, being fully aware of the dish, the water, and each movement of my hands. I know that if I hurry in order to eat dessert sooner, the time of washing dishes will be unpleasant and not worth living. That would be a pity,for each minute, each second of life is a miracle. The dishes themselves and that fact that I am here washing them are miracles!”

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Meditations on Independence Day

   by Steve Cebula
Among the people who stand against the powers that be and the current affairs of nationhood, I have heard diverse views of the actions of the founding fathers of the United States. On the one hand they are held in contempt for being unable to see beyond their stations in life and because many of their decrees they issued appear to us, over two-hundred years after their actions, downright hypocritical. On the other hand, they are held up as ground breakers and at times the very pinnacle of radical and revolutionary thought.
   I suggest that both of these accusations are true to a certain extent. They certainly were treading where government had never tread before and for their time you could call them revolutionary and on the cutting edge of political thought. In only a select few situations could you say that the common man, albeit a white man, without wealth or land, could have an active participation in government ever since man's climb into "civilization". That is precisely what these men set out to do.
   Unfortunately though, they were very much men of their times not to mention the fact that many, but not all, who signed the Declaration of Independence were men of wealth. Equality to them only mattered if you were male, of European descent and, for the most part, Protestant. The thought that women or people of color were equal to them must have been abhorrent and/or laughable, puts them squarely on the wrong side of history in these matters. As someone who has studied history rather thoroughly I would indulge them in a little bit of wiggle room if I didn't think they had ulterior motives. Namely capital and commodity. This doesn't mean I necessarily think they were bad human beings, for who doesn't want to get ahead in this life, but when it is at the expense of others, that's when the problems begin. Let us face the facts; more times than not wealth is achieved on the backs of others.
   In particular wealth is made for the few from the toil of the many. The landed gentry and, for lack of a better word, the bourgeoisie class, were the primary instigators of revolution against the British monarchy. For the most part the common man didn't have much to gain from a change of overlords. If we look at the reasons claimed for the rebellion, it's very clear that the moneyed classes were really the only ones who stood to gain anything.
 The main complaint of the common folk was of not being allowed to expand into the native territory. I have to point out that they felt inclined to venture in to the natives lands because the counrtyside was ruled by a landed aristocracy. There was plenty of land; it was just held by the few, just as now the means of production are held by the few.
  The most famous pretense for the rebellion was taxation without representation. Quite a catchy phrase and quite true I might add. But I ask you, how much representation did the common man have in England at that time? The answer is none if you were unlanded. So from this perspective what good was the changing of masters? Not much I'd say. Of course due to the intervention of the Adams boys, voting was granted to the landless, though if it would have been up to the more dominant players namely, the planters, voting would have eluded the poor white male as well as women and the "non-white" population who were already excluded.
    The ensuing documents, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, also hammered into being by these same men, did eventually bring the rights and liberties of the individual to a level heretofore unheard of in history. Without doubt these men of the Constitutional Congress brought human kind into a new era, for over the next hundred years, in nation after nation, the words of Liberty and Democracy would ring out as the old ruling elite were overthrown one by one.
  Without doubt this was a major step in political thought but you can hardly say, as the ensuing years would show, that this was the end all when you speak of liberties. Even after women and minorities were given full rights, which embarrassingly took over a hundred and fifty years, it is still obvious that the "First World" let alone Humankind still has a long road ahead.
    I ask you dear sisters and brothers why must we be ruled at all? Is one born to lead and another born to follow? There is no biological proof of this. Why is there no place on the earth that the forces of government are not holding sway over us? Why are we beholden to an abstract leviathan that claims to have our own good in mind for us, when in truth they think we are little more than a mass of humanity to be herded and directed into the polling booths?!?
    These are all questions that each of us must ask ourselves and if you are honest with yourself you will see how unnecessary and counter-productive this thing called "government" is. When we realize this, then and only then, will we be able to truly speak of independence.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hate's Windfall

                        By Steven R. Cebula
Floodwaters fill eternal eyes
Thinning crucible, the future teeters
Tomorrow weeps; the storm, the sky
This unwillful illusory design
Patronize - paralyze - shunned

A fiery morning unleashed - spreading
Setting alight the doves white feather
Across promised horizons - shredding
Clenched a deities hand is reaching
Seething - bleeding - undone

The Windfall is a timeless hate
Its shadow falls upon fetters
Through the hills and streets it creates
A damnable dystopian dreamscape
A coiled fate - it awaits - overcome!

A breeze of hope, love fills my lungs
We're brave against inclement weather
Singing with each step, on every rung
In every heart, in every tongue
It is done - it is done - We have won!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

myth as medicine: ajavol and the sacred seeds

myth, a word with little meaning in the modern world, is one of the many medicines which mother earth has given humanimanimals to help us heal ourselves. recurring patterns of myths are echoed throughout most if not all cultures from ancient into present times. the myths of ancient cultures, although commonly dismissed by modern history and science, contain elements of healing for the disconnected human psyche.  

in school, we all were taught to mock the myths of ancient cultures who foolishly believed that coyotes could talk, or that humans were led by ants from the ground. yet, with the forests disappearing, the air polluted, and humanity heavily depressed and medicated, who are the real fools? the secret about myth that we were denied by the miseducation system is simple. myths are stories meant to teach us something about ourselves, about the world around us. 

the story of adam and eve in the garden and their fall from godhood was never intended to be interpreted as history. it's the story of you and me, of our fall from godhood, of us casting ourselves out of earth's perfect garden. the story of jesus was never intended to become a religion of dogmatic followers. it's the story of our redemption, of our death and rebirth, of our awakening. that's why these very stories, and so many others are repeated widely among so many different cultures who have never had communication with each other.

in a society of repression and abuse, our myths have been commandeered by those with a capitalist imperialist mindset, and we have been fed disempowering stories such as the story of capitalism - that some people have more rights to earth's gifts than others - or the story that industrial progress is humanity's ultimate destiny, or the story of the state - that dishonest and narcissistic conmen are more entitled and empowered to run our lives than we are.

a people with no mythology is a people without power.

myth is medicine. myth holds the power to heal us. if we can connect to the channel of human consciousness within each of us, the collective psyche as carl jung refers to it, and tell the stories which reconnect us, we can teach each other and we can teach ourselves the way back to a healthy and whole humanity.

as a case study, a social experiment, and a step of both personal and collective healing, some family and i have been compiling a new mythology for the new world which is being birthed. surely this is a project that is deeper and wider than only my circle of friends, as people all over the world are awakening, setting themselves free, and birthing this new culture. 

we share our stories, in hopes that others will share theirs. the following is one of many stories of ajavol, the child goddess who found her calling and in her innocence and simplicity found herself the leader of a revolution. this is the story of you, and this is the story of me. this is the story of our healing.

ajavol and the sacred seeds

in the season of the great suffering, the villages of the clan of the takers filled the land. mother earth had been transformed into a barren wasteland, for the takers greedily consumed all the gifts of earth, leaving nothing in return. 
in little frog village lived a little girl, who was called ajavol. deeply troubled by the emptiness of life all around her, she longed for another world, although she only knew it in her dreams. one day, she heard the voice of the goddess of the lost forest, who guided young ajavol outside of her village into the forbidden badlands. as she walked through the dark and forlorn forest, she saw in the distance an object of great beauty and vibrant colour, both of which were strangers to her. she ran to see what it was, and saw a flower with seven rainbow-colored petals. she picked the flower, and overwhelmed by its beauty rushed into her village to show the elders.
ajavol, the child goddess
"this is forbidden knowledge!", the elders yelled as they took the flower from her hands, and stomped it on the ground, crushing its broken seeds into the broken earth. ajavol, devastated at the loss of the only beauty she had ever known, fell to her knees and wept over the broken flower until she could no longer weep. as night fell upon the village, her crying guided her into a deep and mournful sleep. 
the next morning, she awoke upon a bed of rainbow flowers, for her sacred tears had given life to the sacred seed of the sacred flower. overwhelmed by the beauty, she gathered all the flowers she could hold, and gave them to everyone she saw. the villagers, knowing not of this sacred beauty were awakened to new life. the elders, knew that this sacred beauty posed a great threat to their system of oppression. so they surrounded the villagers, took their flowers, and once again stomped upon the flowers, crushing the broken seeds into the broken earth. ajavol and the villagers were once again crushed at the loss of the only beauty they had known, and once again, shed sacred tears over the sacred seeds. when they awoke with the light of the morning sun, rainbow flowers covered the village. ajavol and the other children picked all the flowers they could carry, and gave them as gifts to all in little frog village.
as ajavol and the children of the revolution continued to spread the beauty of these flowers beyond the village, to the surrounding villages, valleys, and mountainsides, the newly found beauty was mercilessly trampled by the takers, who knew only to control through violence and fear. as the flowers were spread through the cycle of beauty and pain, they started to cover the entire land, giving a hope, a passion for beauty, and a newly awakened love to all the beings living on mother earth.
this is how ajavol, the child goddess came to find her sacred calling, as the goddess of the revolution.

*this story has also been posted at

**for more on the fascinating phenomenon of how myths repeat the same archetypes and stories throughout the world, check out joseph campbell's work. The Hero With A Thousand Faces

***for more on the archetypes of personal and cultural healing, and the human instinct, check out carl jung's work
Shamanism and the Psychology of C.G. Jung: The Great Circle

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Romanticizing of Violence and the Struggle Against the State pt 1

by Steven R. Cebula
   Is human kind only an animal? Are we only a beast cast against the backdrop of the green mother doomed to live out our days guided by the cardinal virtues of the creatures; instincts? Chief among these savage virtues is violence. The beasts' existence is intertwined with this ferocious  state of being. They battle constantly against the elements, disease, humankind, predators and the territorial ambitions of there own species. In most of these situations it is violence that saves them or violence that destroys them.
   But I ask again is human-kind only a beast? Must we rely on violence simply to exist? I don't think it is much of a stretch to say to say no. Yet unfortunately we are unable to rid violence from our midst. In this article I want to explore why it is such, and in the process convince the skeptics of nonviolence that it can be a powerful and very utilitarian in nature. Along the way i also hope to to expose those who profits from the perpetuation of violence; namely the State.
   In this modern age it seems we are inundated with violence from cradle to grave. As soon we can move about and start to perceive we are exposed to its dread effects, spread through mass media and the like.We are told and shown that the heroes worth emulating are those who bring violence. The games that the children play, the books they are acquainted with  and at times the adults in the home subject the children to this progeny of hate. They put toy guns in the hands of children to emulate these idols and fill them with subliminal indoctrination as to who and when they should kill. But this is only the start.
    When it is time for the  the child to leave the home and mingle with peers they are ready to start full participation in the cult of violence at this place we call school. Here in these sacred hall we are taught of the heroic past. Of our forefather who did this or that and went here or there, overcoming the most insurmountable obstacles and bringing about a better world for us to live in today. The part though that is sugar coated or covered with cursory expedience is all of the blood that was spilled in achieving all of these glorious adventures. Even when the violence of is covered in full a great time and effort is put forth to vilify those who have been subdued, killed and conquered. Granted, there may even be times when the dead were truly villainous, while other times these are blatant lies provided by the ruling elite and their intellectual henchmen. By the time the weight of adulthood is brought to bear on the shoulders of the youth, their mind, body and soul have been desensitized, stained with violence. Through the medium of so-called entertainment such as music, films, games and sports they have been subjected to a non-stop barrage of this deadly vice. By this time the acolyte, without choice fully embraces, albeit most often times ignorantly, the entire canon of hate.
    Age after age we hear over and over the glorifying of violence that it has been grafted to our inner most being and when one tries to offer an alternative solution they are often called myopic, idiotic or accused of ulterior an motive.

  This now brings me to the main focus of this piece. My hope is to show you, my friends and comrades how this ingrained accepting and even craving for violence is being used as a tool by the powers that be to keep the current order in place.
     The state is an apparatus that, though ran by humans, is in fact a machine. A great machine of systematized violence that hangs over our head like the sword of legend. A metallic beast that lies in wait for the slightest misstep and excuse to release its terror. In many countries this is done blatantly, boldly and in the light of day. In the developed "democracies" of the world the beast must be more subtle. One ploy that it uses is to provoke the masses into rash action that manifest itself in the form of a riot, then it uses this as a foundation and justification to unleash its authority, or rather its wrath upon the people.
    Most often times these rioters are out in force due to some injustice that has befallen them or there comrades. Thier hearts are afire with zeal of justice, determined to risk thier bodies and make a show of force against the powers. They are fed up with the systems of the state using them for fodder in the exploitive mechanism that they worship. But behold the state is a mighty monsters and it's tentacles reach far. Its resources are endless and its morels are nil! With its hands and feet it crushes the movement, invades there home and lays exposed their loved ones. Its eyes invade every facet of your life. It knows when you are sleeping and when you are awake. With its mouth it cries out over the airwaves talk of hooligans and thugs who are trying to destabilize the nation and expropriate the wealth in the name of crime .The machine makes new laws, puts up more fences and issues edicts allowing and causing the erosion of liberties. Tightening its grip upon the souls born with boundaries of that nation.
      Many reading this are perfectly aware of how the state works. Unfortunately the masses only have a vague idea of how they are puppets or in many cases they are happy to serve the forces of darkness. It is these masses that the battle for the temporal reality will be won. When the revolution comes leaving violence in its wake either through insurrection or in the form of riots, many of the common people see this and feel one thing; fear! This fear is then manipulated and played on showing the unrighteousness of the revolutionaries who are molded in to criminals. The truth become irrelevant. All that matters is what the state is now feeding the fearful masses. How do we keep this fear from being exploited by the great beast? Non-violence!
          In revolt against the history of man two of 19th century literary giants rose to face the tide of mankind's darken existence. These men were Henry David Thoreau and Leo Tolstoy. Theses two men, though inspired by different sources, would give another option to battle with the powers that be. Both men adhered to the belief in love and they believed that this love was more powerful then all the weapons of the world. Both of these knew full well the evils of the world. Thoruae watched with horror the chattel slavery that the United States was engaged in during his time, while Tolstoy looked with painful eyes upon the downtrodden peasants of Russia, determining that government and capital were the bane of mankind. To battle hate with love brought to life to the idea of nonviolent resistance and  noncooperation.
    But one will ask how does"nonviolence overcome violence?" To most people this sounds ludicrous and only worthy of contempt. I understand why as well for I too was led down the path that most of us have tread. At one time I would even quote "Violence has solved more issue than all the other ways of solving them combined." Even if that is true I would ask you were things resolved for the best or was it simply a reconfiguring of despicable options? Tell me friends and comrades what is greater to destroy or to create? What gives us existence and sustains us in the world, is it love or is it hate? What pushes us onward in the daily struggle to be , is it life or is it death? I believe that the answer is obvious. To Love, live and create are the unstoppable forces, not destruction, hate or death. If the latter three were more powerful that the former then surly humankind would have been extinct and we would not be addressing the topic at present moment. Without doubt we would not have survived the dreadnoughts of night that threatened to annihilate us in the 20th century. Nonviolence, the culmination of the above mentioned triumvirate of timeless passions are the only hope for overcoming the forces of reaction and evil in the world.

 I would never tell a person or a people that they are not to defend themselves with violence when facing an uncompromising enemy. It is true that there comes a time to defend one life and loved ones. This form of defensive violence is as old as mankind and the same form of defense that we have had to use against the animals in former epochs. There is a solid argument that says these humans who are transgressing against other humans have lost what makes them special; their humanity. Following this logic we are more that justified using violence to safeguard ourselves.
  The violence that I am speaking against today is the violence used in revolution against the state.
 Revolution is much more than the will of the people exerting itself against the forces of evil and oppression. In fact revolution is a convulsion of the spirit of man crying out through the ancient hall of history. A cry that beckons to a tomorrow of promise and of hope. Unfortunately this spirit of revolution  has been heavily permeated with a specter of violence. This violence is used to overthrow the current regime but then inevitable this spirit of violence is projected from the deposed onto the populace in the form of revenge killings and the like, immediately starting a cycle of violence that can very well destroy the spirit of revolution. In other cases when you look at the history it shows you that this darkness is exported to another land and people in the form of conquest or the new powers impose this violence onto the very people that it was intended to liberate; those who have established the new order have taken a liking to the feeling of power that they have discovered.
  What we are in the direst need of is a revolution that is pure of this disease. Free from the blood and hate that soils the spirit and reason of mankind. Our revolutions will only succeed to bringing more despoiled and violent persons into the positions of power. Even those who kill with the best of intentions are tainting the purity of what they are trying to achieve. Just as when an honest person takes a position of importance in a corrupt system he becomes subject to that curse of power. So it is with violence. If one  clings to it as a means it will pervert the endgame with its acrid stench.

  When we look across the divide my sisters and brothers, that barren wasteland that becomes an ideological no-mans-land, we need not see enemies. For in truth those that we are seeing are really the same as us, regardless of how much we deny it. The difference is that we have been elevated either by chance or by design to seek out the truths of our world. It is not always fair to stare across this desert of despair with hate in our hearts and rage in our fist, holding the "other side" in self-righteous contempt. Those poor soles manning the barricades of the status-quo are victims of an endless cycle of dominance, deception and control that started about the time human kind became bonded to the land and started to build cities, giving centers of control for millenniums of demagogues. With the weight of a false history and an endless stream of propaganda we should feel lucky or blessed that we were able to escape that mental yoke. Pity rather than hate is what should fill hearts rather than contempt and bitterness. In a slightly different circumstance that could have been you or I standing among the the unenlightened, doing our part to to keep the despots as our overlord.
  Martin Luther King believed that love is what would carry the day in his struggle. I believe that he was correct but I would also say that reason and logic should be considered as well. Violence only promotes reaction and often times ten fold. The powers that be are far to embedded in their lofty positions and in the mind of the masses to be dislodged by violence. Yes there will be casualties but in an armed insurgency are there not deaths? Those that die violently in this struggle are not called martyrs, they are and will be called criminals by a media that claims to be free but actually bows to the Lords of the Left and right. But those that die while espousing peace can be lifted up, unblemished and become a rallying cry across across the city, across a nation and even across the world. Far more wicked and lost souls have been the standard to rally around in some contemporary movements. How much more will the selfless believers of nonviolence who have been unjustly killed by the powers be raised up?!?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

why we don't make demands - part 2

  By CrimethInc. /

**read part 1 here

Making demands establishes some people as representatives of the movement, establishing an internal hierarchy and giving them an incentive to control the other participants.

In practice, unifying a movement behind specific demands usually means designating spokespeople to negotiate on its behalf. Even if these are chosen “democratically,” on the basis of their commitment and experience, they can’t help but develop different interests from the other participants as a consequence of playing this role.
In order to maintain credibility in their role as negotiators, spokespeople must be able to pacify or isolate anyone that is not willing to go along with the bargains they strike. This gives aspiring leaders an incentive to demonstrate that they can reign in in the movement, in hopes of earning a seat at the negotiating table. The same courageous souls whose uncompromising actions won the movement its leverage in the first place suddenly find career activists who joined afterwards telling them what to do—or denying that they are part of the movement at all. This drama played out in Ferguson in August 2014, where the locals who got the movement off the ground by standing up to the police were slandered by politicians and public figures as outsiders taking advantage of the movement to engage in criminal activity. The exact opposite was true: outsiders were seeking to hijack a movement initiated by honorable illegal activity, in order to re-legitimize the institutions of authority.
In the long run, this sort of pacification can only contribute to a movement’s demise. That explains the ambiguous relation most leaders have with the movements they represent: to be of use to the authorities, they have to be capable of subduing their comrades, but their services would not be required at all if the movement did not pose some kind of threat. Hence the strange admixture of militant rhetoric and practical obstruction that often characterizes such figures: they must ride the storm, yet hold it at bay.

Sometimes the worst thing that can happen to a movement is for its demands to be met.

Reform serves to stabilize and preserve the status quo, killing the momentum of social movements, ensuring that more thoroughgoing change does not take place. Granting small demands can serve to divide a powerful movement, persuading the less committed participants to go home or turn a blind eye to the repression of those who will not compromise. Such small victories are only granted because the authorities consider them the best way to avoid bigger changes.
In times of upheaval, when everything is up for grabs, one way to defuse a burgeoning revolt is to grant its demands before it has time to escalate. Sometimes this looks like a real victory—as in Slovenia in 2013, when two months of protest toppled the presiding government. This put an end to the unrest before it could address the systemic problems that gave rise to it, which ran much deeper than which politicians were in office. Another government came to power while the demonstrators were still dazed at their own success—and business as usual resumed.
During the buildup to the 2011 revolution in Egypt, Mubarak repeatedly offered what the demonstrators had been demanding a couple days earlier; but as the situation on the streets intensified, the participants became more and more implacable. Had Mubarak offered more, sooner, he might still be in power today. Indeed, the Egyptian revolution ultimately failed not because it asked for too much, but because it didn’t go far enough: in unseating the dictator but leaving the infrastructure of the army and the “deep state” in place, revolutionaries left the door open for new despots to consolidate power. For the revolution to succeed, they would have had to demolish the architecture of the state itself while everyone was still in the streets and the window of possibility remained open. “The people demand the fall of the regime” offered a convenient platform for much of Egypt to rally around, but did not prepare them to take on the regimes that followed.
It only worked in Egypt because they didn’t just ask.
In Brazil in 2013, the MPL (Movimento Passe Livre) helped catalyzemassive protests against an increase in the cost of public transportation; this is one of the only recent examples of a movement that succeeded in getting its demands met. Millions of people took to the streets, and the twenty-cent fare hike was canceled. Brazilian activists wrote and lectured about the importance of setting concrete and achievable demands, in order to build up momentum by incremental victories. Next, they hopedto force the government to make transportation free.
Why did their campaign against the fare hike succeed? At the time, Brazil was one of the few nations worldwide with an ascendant economy; it had benefitted from the global economic crisis by drawing investment dollars away from the volatile North American market. Elsewhere—in Greece, Spain, and even the United States—governments had their backs to the wall no less than anti-austerity protesters, and could not have granted their demands even if they wished to. It was not for want of specific demands that no other movement was able to achieve such concessions.
Scarcely a year and a half later, when the streets had emptied out and the police had reasserted their power, the Brazilian government introduced another series of fare hikes—bigger ones this time. The MPL had to start all over again. It turns out you can’t overthrow capitalism one reform at a time.
Protesting the transportation fare increase in Brazil: a concrete demand, but a Sisyphean struggle.

If you want to win concessions, aim beyond the target.

Even if all you want is to bring about a few minor adjustments in the status quo, it is still a wiser strategy to set out to achieve structural change. Often, to accomplish small concrete objectives, we have to set our sights much higher. Those who refuse to compromise present the authorities with an undesirable alternative to treating with reformists. Someone is always going to be willing to take the position of negotiator—but the more people refuse, the stronger the negotiator’s bargaining position will be. The classic reference point here is the relation between Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X: if not for the threat implied by Malcolm X, the authorities would not have had such an incentive to parley with Dr. King.
For those of us who want a truly radical change, there is nothing to be gained by watering down our desires for public consumption. The Overton window—the range of possibilities considered politically viable—is not determined by those at the purported center of the political spectrum, but by the outliers. The broader the distribution of options, the more territory opens up. Others may not immediately join you on the fringes, but knowing that some people are willing to assert that agenda may embolden them to act more ambitiously themselves.
In purely pragmatic terms, those who embrace a diversity of tactics are stronger, even when it comes to achieving small victories, than those who try to limit themselves and others and to exclude those who refuse to be limited. On the other hand, from the perspective of long-term strategy, the most important thing is not whether we achieve any particular immediate result, but how each engagement positions us for the next round. If we endlessly defer the questions we really want to ask, the right moment will never arrive. We don’t just need to win concessions; we need to develop capabilities.

Doing without demands doesn’t mean ceding the space of political discourse.

Perhaps the most persuasive argument in favor of making concrete demands is that if we don’t make them, others will—hijacking the momentum of our organizing to advance their own agendas. What if, because we fail to present demands, people end up consolidating around a liberal reformist platform—or, as in many parts of Europe today, a right-wing nationalist agenda?
Certainly, this illustrates the danger of failing to express our visions of transformation to those with whom we share the streets. It is a mistake to escalate our tactics without communicating about our goals, as if all confrontation necessarily tended in the direction of liberation. InUkraine, where the same tensions and momentum that had given rise to the Arab Spring and Occupy produced a nationalist revolution and civil war, we see how even fascists can appropriate our organizational and tactical models for their own purposes.
But this is hardly an argument to address demands to the authorities. On the contrary, if we always conceal our radical desires within a common reformist front for fear of alienating the general public, those who are impatient for real change will be all the more likely to run into the arms of nationalists and fascists, as the only ones openly seeking to challenge the status quo. We need to be explicit about what we want and how we intend to go about getting it. Not in order to force our methodology on everyone, as authoritarian organizers do, but to offer an opportunity and example to everyone else who is looking for a way forward. Not to present a demand, but because this is the opposite of a demand: we want self-determination, something no one can give us.
Graffiti in London, 2012, reprising a slogan from the May 1968 uprising in Paris.

If not demands, then what?

The way we analyze, the way we organize, the way we fight—these should speak for themselves. They should serve as an invitation to join us in a different way of doing politics, based in direct action rather than petitioning. The people in Ferguson and Baltimore who responded to the murders of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray by physically confronting the police did more to force the issue of police violence than decades of pleading for community oversight. Seizing spaces and redistributing resources, we sidestep the senselessly circuitous machinery of representation. If we must send a message to the authorities, let it be this single, simple demand: Don’t mess with us.
Instead of making demands, let’s start setting objectives. The difference is that we set objectives on our own terms, at our own pace, as opportunities arise. They need not be framed within the logic of the ruling powers, and their realization does not depend upon the goodwill of the authorities. The essence of reformism is that even when you win something, you don’t retain control over it. We should be developing the power to act on our own terms, independent of the institutions we are taking on. This is a long-term project, and an urgent one.
In pursuing and achieving objectives, we develop the capacity to seek more and more ambitious goals. This stands in stark contrast to the way reformist movements tend to collapse when their demands are realized or shown to be unrealistic. Our movements will be stronger if they can accommodate a variety of objectives, so long as those do not openly conflict. When we understand each other’s objectives, it is possible to identify where it makes sense to cooperate, and where it doesn’t—a kind of clarity that does not result from lining up behind a lowest-common-denominator demand.
From this vantage point, we can see that choosing not to make demands is not necessarily a sign of political immaturity. On the contrary, it can be a savvy refusal to fall into the traps that disabled the previous generation. Let’s learn our own strength, outside the cages and queues of representational politics—beyond the politics of demands.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

the rememberers of ancient ways

"we are the shamans of the love generations.
we are being rapidly educated, initiated, and liberated in order to illuminate the path of healing and the way of love for a people who will soon be ready to be set free.
we are the authors of myth and ritual, we are the mothers and fathers of a new culture, a new language.
 we are the rememberers of ancient ways."

- volk

Thursday, May 7, 2015

why we don't make demands - part 1

 By CrimethInc. /

    From Occupy to Ferguson, whenever a new grassroots movement arises, pundits charge that it lacks clear demands. Why won’t protesters summarize their goals as a coherent program? Why aren’t there representatives who can negotiate with the authorities to advance a concrete agenda through institutional channels? Why can’t these movements express themselves in familiar language, with proper etiquette?
Often, this is simply disingenuous rhetoric from those who prefer for movements to limit themselves to well-behaved appeals. When we pursue an agenda they’d rather not acknowledge, they charge that we are irrational or incoherent. Compare last year’s People’s Climate March, which united 400,000 people behind a simple message while doing so little to protest that it was unnecessary for the authorities to make even a single arrest,with the Baltimore uprising of April 2015. Many praised the Climate March while deriding the rioting in Baltimore as irrational, unconscionable, and ineffective; yet the Climate March had little concrete impact, while the Baltimore riots compelled the chief prosecutor to bring almost unprecedented charges against police officers. You can bet if 400,000 people responded to climate change the way a couple thousand responded to the murder of Freddie Gray, the politicians would change their priorities.
Even those who demand demands out of the best intentions usually misunderstand demandlessness as an omission rather than a strategic choice. Yet today’s demandless movements are not an expression of political immaturity—they are a pragmatic response to the impasse that characterizes the entire political system.
If it were so easy for the authorities to grant protesters’ demands, you’d think we’d see more of it. In fact, from Obama to Syriza, not even the most idealistic politicians have been able to follow through on the promises of reform that got them elected. The fact that charges were pressed against Freddie Gray’s killers after the riots in Baltimore suggests that the only way to make any headway is to break off petitioning entirely.
So the problem is not that today’s movements lack demands; the problem is the politics of demands itself. If we seek structural change, we need to set our agenda outside the discourse of those who hold power, outside the framework of what their institutions can do. We need to stop presenting demands and start setting objectives. Here’s why.

Making demands puts you in a weaker bargaining position.

Even if your intention is simply to negotiate, you put yourself in a weaker bargaining position by spelling out from the beginning the least it would take to appease you. No shrewd negotiator begins by making concessions. It’s smarter to appear implacable: So you want to come to terms? Make us an offer. In the meantime, we’ll be here blocking the freeway and setting things on fire.
There is no more powerful bargaining chip than being able to implement the changes we desire ourselves, bypassing the official institutions—the true meaning of direct action. Whenever we are able to do this, the authorities scramble to offer us everything we had previously requested in vain. For example, the Roe vs. Wade decision that made abortion legal occurred only after groups like the Jane Collective set up self-organized networks that provided affordable abortions to tens of thousands of women.
Of course, those who can implement the changes they desire directly don’t need to make demands of anyone—and the sooner they recognize this, the better. Remember how people in Bosnia burned down government buildings in February 2014, then convened plenums to formulate demands to present to the government. A year later, they’d received nothing for their pains but criminal charges, and the government was once again as stable and corrupt as ever.
Show us, don’t tell us.

Limiting a movement to specific demands stifles diversity, setting it up for failure.

The conventional wisdom is that movements need demands to cohere around: without demands, they will be diffuse, ephemeral, ineffectual.
But people who have different demands, or no demands at all, can still build collective power together. If we understand movements as spaces of dialogue, coordination, and action, it is easy to imagine how a single movement might advance a variety of agendas. The more horizontally structured it is, the more capable it should be of accommodating diverse goals.
The truth is that practically all movements are wracked by internal conflicts over how to structure themselves and how to prioritize their goals. The demand for demands usually arises as a power play by the factions within a movement that are most invested in the prevailing institutions, as a means of delegitimizing those who want to build up power autonomously rather than simply petitioning the authorities. This misrepresents real political differences as mere disorganization, and real opposition to the structures of governance as political naïveté.
Forcing a diverse movement to reduce its agenda to a few specific demands inevitably consolidates power in the hands of a minority. For who decides which demands to prioritize? Usually, it is the same sort of people who hold disproportionate power elsewhere in our society: wealthy, predominantly white professionals well versed in the workings of institutional power and the corporate media. The marginalized are marginalized again within their own movements, in the name of efficacy.
Yet this rarely serves to make a movement more effective. A movement with space for difference can grow; a movement premised on unanimity contracts. A movement that includes a variety of agendas is flexible, unpredictable; it is difficult to buy it off, difficult to trick the participants into relinquishing their autonomy in return for a few concessions. A movement that prizes reductive uniformity is bound to alienate one demographic after another as it subordinates their needs and concerns.
A movement that incorporates a variety of perspectives and critiques can develop more comprehensive and multifaceted strategies than a single-issue campaign. Forcing everyone to line up behind one set of demands is bad strategy: even when it works, it doesn’t work.

Limiting a movement to specific demands undermines its longevity.

Nowadays, as history moves faster and faster, demands are often rendered obsolete before a campaign can even get off the ground. In response to the murder of Michael Brown, reformists demanded that police wear body cameras—but before this campaign could get fully underway, a grand jury announced that the officer who murdered Eric Garner would not be tried, either, even though Garner’s murder hadbeen caught on camera.
Movements premised on specific demands will collapse as soon as those demands are outpaced by events, while the problems that they set out to address persist. Even from a reformist perspective, it makes more sense to build movements around the issues they address, rather than any particular solution.

Limiting a movement to specific demands can give the false impression that there are easy solutions to problems that are actually extremely complex.

“OK, you have a lot of complaints—who doesn’t? But tell us, whatsolution do you propose?”
The demand for concrete particulars is understandable. There’s no use in simply letting off steam; the point is to change the world. But meaningful change will take a lot more than whatever minor adjustments the authorities might readily grant. When we speak as though there are simple solutions for the problems we face, hurrying to present ourselves as no less “practical” than government policy experts, we set the stage for failure whether our demands are granted or not. This will give rise to disappointment and apathy long before we have developed the collective capacity to get to the root of things.
Especially for those of us who believe that the fundamental problem is the unequal distribution of power and agency in our society, rather than the need for this or that policy adjustment, it is a mistake to promise easy remedies in a vain attempt to legitimize ourselves. It’s not our job to present ready-made solutions that the masses can applaud from the sidelines; leave that to demagogues. Our challenge, rather, is to create spaces where people can discuss and implement solutions directly, on an ongoing and collective basis. Rather than proposing quick fixes, we should be spreading new practices. We don’t need blueprints, but points of departure.

Making demands presumes that you want things that your adversary can grant.

On the contrary, it’s doubtful whether the prevailing institutions could grant most of the things we want even if our rulers had hearts of gold. No corporate initiative is going to halt climate change; no government agency is going to stop spying on the populace; no police force is going to abolish white privilege. Only NGO organizers still cling to the illusion that these things are possible—probably because their jobs depend on it.
A strong enough movement could strike blows against industrial pollution, state surveillance, and institutionalized white supremacy, but only if it didn’t limit itself to mere petitioning. Demand-based politics limits the entire scope of change to reforms that can be made within the logic of the existing order, sidelining us and deferring real change forever beyond the horizon.
There’s no use in asking the authorities for things they can’t grant and wouldn’t grant if they could. Nor should we give them an excuse to acquire even more power than they already have, on the pretext that they need it to be able to fulfill our demands.
Our one demand: don’t mess with us.

Making demands of the authorities legitimizes their power, centralizing agency in their hands.

It is a time-honored tradition for nonprofit organizations and leftist coalitions to present demands that they know will never be granted: don’t invade Iraq, stop defunding education, bail out people not banks, make the police stop killing black people. In return for brief audiences with bureaucrats who answer to much shrewder players, they water down their politics and try to get their less complaisant colleagues to behave themselves. This is what they call pragmatism.
Such efforts may not achieve their express purpose, but they do accomplish something: they frame a narrative in which the existing institutions are the only conceivable protagonists of change. This, in turn, paves the way for additional fruitless campaigns, additional electoral spectacles in which new candidates for office hoodwink young idealists, additional years of paralysis in which the average person can only imagine accessing her own power through the mediation of somepolitical party or organization. Rewind the tape and play it again.
Real self-determination is not something that any authority can grant us. We have to develop it by acting on our own strength, centering ourselves in the narrative as the protagonists of history.

Making demands too early can limit the scope of a movement in advance, shutting down the field of possibility.

At the beginning of a movement, when the participants have not yet had a chance to get a sense of their collective power, they may not be able to recognize how thoroughgoing the changes they want really are. To frame demands at this point in the trajectory of a movement can stunt it, limiting the ambitions and imagination of the participants. Likewise, setting a precedent at the beginning for narrowing or watering down its goals only increases the likelihood that this will happen again and again.
Imagine if the Occupy movement had agreed on concrete demands at the very beginning—would it still have served as an open space in which so many people could meet, develop their analysis, and become radicalized? Or would it have ended up as a single protest encampment concerned only with corporate personhood, budget cuts, and perhaps the Federal Reserve? It is better for the objectives of a
movement to develop as the movement itself develops, in proportion to its capacity.

***check back next week for part 2***

Sunday, March 22, 2015

anarchism and political non-engagement

there must be some way out of here!", said the joker to the thief. "there's too much confusion. i can't get no relief.

businessmen, they drink my wine. plowmen dig my earth. none of them along the line know what any of it is worth."

as an anarchist, being politically engaged looks very little like the way most people understand political engagement. political engagement typically brings to mind all kinds of activism, handshakes with the rich and powerful, and emotional speeches about why some candidate or policy is the ultimate good, but anarchists don't like to play that game. it's a losing game for all parties and for every living being on this living planet.
anarchism precludes something wholly different from political engagement, and that is political non-engagement. under a system which dominates and oppresses all aspects of our lives, all acts have been rendered political. where you buy your food, who you bank with, what clothes you wear, what shoes you wear, where you work, how you worship, these basic aspects of life are all deeply political - perhaps even a great deal more political than the ballot you cast or the petitions you sign.
"in the slave wage economy, who will your master be?" is the question that politics asks. politics never asks you if you'd like to be a slave, or suggests that you may not have to be one. the question of politics is indeed a loaded question, as the questions of "which slave masters will you serve" and "what color would you like your shackles painted?" are presupposing that you have consented to being a slave and are more concerned with the particulars of your slavery.
the anarchist ideal is grossly misunderstood because it presents the idea of walking away from the ballot box and, discontent to live shackled by an abusive system, declaring "no gods! no masters!" yet, for those who have never thought that there may be another way, who believe that one of those ballot boxes must be checked, they look at the anarchist's empty ballot in confusion, for they can't seem to understand why someone wouldn't want to choose how they would be dominated. the anarchist makes little distinction between the patronizing master and the domineering master. she says that she will have no master.
good cop, bad cop. left wing, right wing. your abuser in a good mood and your abuser in a bad mood. it's all part of the same psychological or sociological game. two faces of the same system, oppressing and dominating the souls of humanity and our nonhuman sisters and brothers.
but sometimes the abuser goes too far, and the formerly weak and ignorant victim finally conjures up the strength and the courage to walk away. only once they've begun to walk away do they begin to realize the extent of the abuse that they'd been living in. it often takes years - decades even - for a victim to fully understand how abusive the relationship was. victims of ongoing abuse are usually the blindest to their own abuse, to the horror of the victim's friends and family who can see the situation so clearly. in the same way, the human victims of the abuse of society are largely blind to the abuse and even believe that they are happy within it.
finally, we're at a point in our human history where the abuse has gone too far. the masters have taken every freedom away from nearly all of humanity and have violently oppressed every living thing they've encountered, to the point where victims are now beginning to wake up in mass numbers and, fed up with replacing fascist dictators with fascist presidents, and iron shackles with paper ones, have begun removing the shackles altogether and walking out of this prison built of human bodies.
however, every person has endured a different level of abuse and oppression. some have had more skillful abusers who blocked out all hope of life outside the prison. most people, in their desire to please and their ignorance of the possibility of life beyond the dark walls, have deeply internalized the abuse and hold it as an integral part of themselves. some are still open to the call of the wild and will fight to save themselves, their species, and their planet, and still others have been pushed too far, where they may never in this incarnation find the heartbeat of mother earth and follow it to freedom.

"no reason to get excited," the thief, he kindly spoke, "there are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.
but you and i, we've been through that - and this is not our fate. let us not talk falsely now. the hour is getting late."

the revolution happens when an individual somehow breaks past the illusion and decides to live in freedom. this prison, built from human flesh, is weakened every time someone, declaring that they will no longer play their part in oppressing the community of life, their human family, and even the life force within them, walks away from their post, walks away from the ballot box, walks away from the capitalist slave economy. the walls, the bars, the fences, the guard posts, the guards, and even the warden, are all humans who have somewhere inside of them this animal drive for freedom and for life. the good news is that the revolution is inevitable, because the prison complex itself is comprised of living beings with a propensity towards freedom.
. . .
political non-engagement, therefore, is not a specific thing. it's everything that makes us human- running wild and naked through fields of wild and naked flowers, making love at midnight under the sensual blue moon, splashing paint on a canvas, flinging words into a poem, gazing into the eyes of children, swinging from vines high in the trees of an old-growth forest. it is gardening, meditating, making music. anarchists are those humans who feel that mother earth created us just like every other living being she supports, that we may live free and part of nature. that is our political stance. that we may live as though the ultimate purpose of life is simply to live - and live to the fullest.

all along the watchtower, princes kept the view. while, all the women came and went. barefoot servants, too. outside, in the distance, a wildcat did growl. two riders were approaching.
and the wind began to howl...

yet for those who have decolonized their hearts and live free as the flowers, there is a voice on the wind which cries that we are all one, we are each cells of a single living organism, and as such, we can never be fully free until our sisters and our brothers are also freed. the wind whispers that we were freed that we may return in order to, in the ultimate act of sedition, tickle those who still bear upon their shoulders the weight of this great poisonous system, that they will, one by one, shrug the weight of oppression off of their backs, withdraw from their role in maintaining its structure, and come to join the world of the free, the world of love, the world of life.
when someone inquires as to the political and societal role of an anarchist, what can be said? we've quit the world of roles and politics and society altogether, in favor of just being human. we've quit in favor of following our own hearts and our own dreams. and we're finding as we follow our own hearts, that we're actually listening to the collective heart. we're going somewhere together.
as humans.
as earth.
as life.
so, the next time someone asks you what you do for a living, what your role is in society, or how you're politically engaged...
throw your head back in wild laughter and start tickling them!

this article was originally published on the hampton institute at

Monday, March 9, 2015

your wildest dreams

“Swear to yourself that you will never, ever again do anything but chase your wildest dreams, every moment of your life,” nadia, crimethINC

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

tapestries waiting to be woven - a personal update

i finally made it back to my village, htee ther leh (three rivers run), after months of exile, just in time for the village christmas party. my attempts to return had been so numerous, and had been foiled by the burmese military or some inconvenient miscommunication each time. so when, on new year's eve, i made it halfway back, only to have my plans foiled again, i took matters into my own hands. i borrowed a friends motorbike, covered all my skin, wrapped a scarf around my face, and sped through the jungle alone on the motorbike in the dark through burma. when i finally made it to the village, i could hardly believe that i was actually there, after months of failed attempts. when the children first saw me, they screamed, then i screamed, then there were a lot of hugs and kisses and iloveyous.

don't be deceived by their docile appearance
i stayed and taught, and i moved back into my house. they had me teaching kindergarten now, which turned out to be one of the most challenging experiences in recent memory. forty jungle children who just want to play and don't want to study, one teacher who doesn't believe in corporal punishment or intimidation, doesn't speak enough of their language to give classroom instruction, has no kindergarten teaching experience, and five hours a day of supposed learning, for five days a week. i typically welcome challenging experiences, i believe nothing is too great a challenge. for anyone who knows me well, i'm pretty emotionally stable and able to deal with difficult situations with joy and serenity. but...
kindergarteners... they pushed me to my limit. i honestly almost had an emotional breakdown. however, i survived! thanks to a lot of meditation and the support of a fellow teacher and close friend.

my thai visa expires in april, and i plan to go back to america. but i came to southeast asia broke, and i'm still broke! at least every week in burma, someone asks me to come to their village to live and teach, but of course none of those offers would provide money, as capitalism is foreign to their communal culture. and airlines don't typically accept community service for payment. so after trying for so long to get back to my village, i knew that i couldn't stay. i packed up my house, took a lot of photos, said many tearful goodbyes, and headed back to thailand to try to find some kind of paid teaching position or tutoring, to fund my plane ticket for april.

friday night, i said my goodbyes and caught a ride with a school car back to thailand... but we didn't make it to thailand. not even close. we were going to make a short stop in another village and drop off music equipment and some students for a christmas concert they had planned. but there was a surprise rainstorm in the middle of dry season. the truck got stuck in the mud far into the burmese jungle, and we spent the next three days getting hundreds of dollars worth of musical equipment to the village, and rescuing the school car from the mud bogs. the effort exerted during those three days is beyond my minds ability to exaggerate, so i'll tell it like it was. three three-hour walks barefoot up and down muddy mountains in the cold rain, over treacherous bamboo bridges and through several raging rivers. about eight hours pushing, and rope-pulling three different vehicles - two tractors and a large truck - up steep mountains which were difficult enough to even walk up, and through several more flooded rivers.
unloading all the music equipment before we pulled the truck out

the intense weekend proved to be a perfect finale after teaching kindergarten for two weeks. if teaching kindergarten was the most emotionally exhausting thing i can ever remember doing, the jungle expedition was the most physically exhausting.

the last two weeks have been very trying, challenging and pushing me to new limits. but they've been really beautiful, i had a lot of fun, i loved a lot, and i'm glad to have lived and learned! now that i left my house, i'm once again officially homeless. i seem to have worn out my welcome in the school i lived at last year, due to my religious variance and my beliefs in radical love and radical freedom. and i'm broke as a joke and needing to buy a plane ticket.

i don't know where i'm sleeping tonight, where i'll be a week from now, or how i'll get across the great ocean in a few months. however, unlike a herd of wild kindergartners, this is the kind of challenge that i'm excited to face. the unsure days ahead are but tapestries waiting to be woven.