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Ishmael Community Guestbook Archive

Back to the *Current* Guestbook Previous 15 Records · Next 15 Records

Bev #14853
, Australia - Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 23:53:59 CST (GMT -6:00)

In the current discussions about living tribally, I can't see what you're all on about, frankly. I mean the most important thing we need to do NOW is to start living sustainably. Once we're on the way to doing that THEN we can start to experiment with living arrangements, i.e. tribal vs hierarchical. If we don't start living sustainably then we're simply gonna run out of time and resources.

To Sara, I think it was, who lives in NYC and loves it. OK, I grant you love it. When we visited there some years ago it frightened me. But they say New Yorkers are passionate about their home town. So be it. But can you/are you living there sustainably?

First step in sustainable living for us was to buy a larger property. Put in a water tank. Put in (still putting, actually) a huge food garden (organic of course, with fertilisers sourced from the property i.e. via a composting toilet). Putting in a woodlot to grow fuelwood (even though the property is 90% natural bush with large numbers of trees and understorey plants, that part is reserved for wildlife and preserving local biodiversity).

Second step is to reduce consumption of all but necessary resources. Limit energy use and so on. Buy only goods/packaging that can be recycled etc, etc.

Third step is to tell others why we're doing it (to save the world, of course). Teach by example. Point out the benefits and spread the good memes at the same time.

Fourth step is to encourage neighbours to do likewise. Swap food, share resources, create a sustainable local community. It may never become a true tribe or tribal system but it's a step in the right direction.

I realise all of you can't do something like this at this point in time. But we're not young anymore. We both dragged stones up pyramids for many years, but saved money and lived lightly while we did. So we were able to buy this dream. If I'd known what I know now, we would've had it all much sooner and at much less cost. You young ones have the advantage of age. Go for it!

Ameno #14852
Los Angeles, CA USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 23:21:11 CST (GMT -6:00)


The first discourse is done. It can be found at http://www.evolutionrevolution.net/part1.htm

This discourse deals with a different story of the Taker Revolution. If the problem is different, then surely the solution is as well, regardless of if the symptoms appear to be the same.

I also am making my server available to anyone who wants to do what I have done and write a discourse of their own building on Quinn's work, which you'll see mine does.

I want to say that yes, being self sufficient is definitely and aspect of being a tribe. I will discuss the full ramifications of "self sufficiency" in another discourse (There is much more to human existance than food and shelter).

As for having said anything new: I don't think that is possible. I think that I have drawn some parallels that I haven't seen drawn before. I don't have a ton of time right now. I look forward to discussion of what I have written as it will help me know what to focus on in the next one.

VerevolfTheGrouch #14851
, USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 23:18:3 CST (GMT -6:00)

As I understand it the primary danger DQ warns about is the one caused by the food race, which requires us to destroy more and more species every day. I can't claim to have any solid knowledge of ecology, but here's my understanding:

the community of life is hugely interconnected. anything that happens anywhere in it has effects all throughout. at the moment, we're weakening the stability of the system by causing massive changes in it every day. eventually, because of the massive changes we are causing, the system is going to collapse and that collapse will affect us just as much as it affects any other creature. Although its tolerance of abuse appears to be quite high, I imagine that the community of life can only take so much abuse if it is to continue to support human life.

Don't know if that makes a whole lot of sense. I don't have time to read over it right now. I need some sleep.

Jim Linder #14850
San Jose, CA USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 22:56:38 CST (GMT -6:00)

Let’s see if we can’t tack another direction for a change.

We all talk about saving the world. Of saving humanity. What/How is humanity going to be eliminated. Global Warming? What? How is the planet going to get us?

I hesitate to tell you why I ask this, so in the style of Buzz, I will withhold my reasoning until I hear a few answers.


VerevolfTheGrouch #14849
, USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 22:55:28 CST (GMT -6:00)

I just came across something when I loaded up the front page:

Because revolution in our culture has always represented an attack on hierarchy, it has always meant upheaval--literally a heaving up from below. But upheaval has no role to play in moving beyond civilization. If the plane is in trouble, you don't shoot the pilot, you grab a parachute and jump. To overthrow the hierarchy is pointless; we just want to leave it behind.

Beyond Civilization

Sam Hess #14848
, AZ USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 21:0:58 CST (GMT -6:00)

Vered...Great to see you back! Best cheers, Sam

Vered #14847
, South Africa -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 20:49:26 CST (GMT -6:00)

Hi All :-)

I really like the direction the GB has taken lately ... a more down to earth nitty gritty discussion.

I am not referring here to any particular post, just want to give my input on the possibility of becoming a 'leaver' of some sort to whatever degree.

Somebody here said " The food is only locked up in your mind". At first glance I disagreed but in fact it is so true as we still ( maybe for a short while) have a choice. The reason I became a 'city leaver' ( as in: I left the city ) was because I discovered that the food IS 'locked up '- in the cities.

Right , to become a 'leaver' you don't have to go overboard right back to huts and barefood hunting expeditions. All you have to do is create a 'tribe'. I did that without knowing that that was what I was doing ... so imagine how much further you can go when you are aware of what you are doing ... I was aware in the sense that I had a goal : I wanted to have my own source of my basic needs.

I started by doing 2 agricultural courses for organic growers. Then I enrolled for a degree in herbal medicine while I acquired 4 riding camels and found an old abandoned farm where I started giving camel rides to tourists. Soon other people joined me - an artist, a kite maker, an ecologist, a herpetologist ( opened a snake & reptile park ) a cheese maker, more artists, a restauranteur, a naturalist, a potter and other crafters ... a tribe.

I started 6 years ago. We now grow an abundance of vegetables and have a working farmyard. We consist of 17 independent businesses, 90 people are employed and boy , are we a happy bunch :-)

Want to have a look at us ? www.naturefarm.co.za

While doing all this I discovered that our 'natural medicine cabinet'out in the hills has 'been locked up'.

The food and the medicine is still out there but the KNOWLEDGE on how to find it, recognise it, collect it, store it, process it and use it has been denied. By whom ? Profiteers and exploiters. And by us - we support the curriculum taught in schools - which teaches us the tip of the iceberg about food production and orientates us towards consumerism for the sake of consuming.

Not only is Nature abundant with food for all living creatures, she also has medicines for all ailments. Stuff that is not addictive,non accumulative and does not create future disease in the body.

Eating a few nasturtium leaves in your salad daily will protect you from those horrific flu's that the tourists bring us. ( of course you cannot grow anything in the city - it will contain lead and about 400 other contaminants from pollution)

Do you know that you are only allowed to use seed from the big seed companies ? Have you heard about a terminator gene introduced so that there is no second generation - meaning that the seed you bought will not yield more seed for next planting ( the plants are hybrids and like mules they are sterile).

And for those of you who assumed that I am male ... I am just a middle aged housewife improving the living conditions for my family and working on growing old with some dignity.

( Quote from memory )Churchill said: " I don't know what the next world war will be fought with, but the last one will be fought with sticks and stones ".

And a personal prediction: " In 20 years we will all be eating something similar to dog food ... "

Love to All :-) Vered

Stephen Figgins #14846
Monroe, WA USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 20:39:20 CST (GMT -6:00)

Ameno, I noticed you kind of focussed in on mom & pop/family businesses, both of which were given as examples of businesses that are not hell bent on growth.

Which I think they are fine examples of businesses that are not growth obsessesed, I don't think this is what Quinn had in mind. If you read Beyond Civilization, you will notice his primary example is the circus, he also brings up a performing group, his joint effort with his wife and a couple friends to publish a paper, and his future plan for a learning circus.

None of these were single proprietorships nor really family businesses (unless you count the news paper because Daniel and Rennie are married, but it wasn't strictly their business.)

Quinn was writing about a different animal than the mom & pop business. He was writing about businesses where people do what they do because it is their passion and they take what they need from the business. The business essentially exists to care for the people that make up the business and engage their passions, to help them keep doing what they love doing.

It's a walk away because it's a refusal to drag stones for the pharoahs. Instead you follow your passion, you live your life fully and now. You work together as equals with others who share that love, to keep doing what you want to do and make sure you all get what you need. That is what Quinn means by tribal business.

Stephen Figgins #14845
Monroe, WA USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 20:16:57 CST (GMT -6:00)


In Beyond Civilization, Quinn takes a stab at exploring some things we could learn from Leavers, and one of them is their form of organization to make a living, he suggests that rather than working away as a cog in the machine of civilization, we might band together with others, and work as equals to make a living. No kings, no pharoahs, just a bunch of people working to make a living. He suggests the circus as a kind of modern day tribal business. He sees this as a good first step, and by no means a panacea. Some people haven't liked Quinn's suggestion.

Ameno, for example, has a different definition of tribal, and different concept of what constitutes a business, and so the "tribal business" concept didn't work for him. (Though it is unclear whether he has actually read Beyond Civilization or not.) I believe Ameno has a different proposal of what we could learn from tribes. Something I am trying to understand and explore.

Libran #14844
, USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 20:9:30 CST (GMT -6:00)


It seems that I must restate that tribal buisiness cares nothing for severing ties with what you call takerdom. Your discourse may be very well written. But I fail to see how conventional business ethics can be attributed to a tribal buisiness. Tribal buisinesses have a design that focuses on the people involved.

You have said that you studied philosophy. I eagerly await your 'discourses'. Will they be as humanist as all other conventional philosophy, or will they really say something new? If you intend on discussing buisiness in the terms you have provided, I can't imagine what you have in store. I guess I'll wait till then.

Onward, Libran

Stephen Figgins #14843
Monroe, WA USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 20:6:2 CST (GMT -6:00)


In your post 15183, are you saying that your definition of tribal is "self sufficient?" Or is this more a defining characteristic of tribal in your opinion? e.g, would you consider a group of Pennsylvania Dutch Amish to be a tribe because they are self sufficient?

I am uncertain how this fits Ishmael exactly. I think you are saying that you applaud the notion that we should be more like the Leavers to again be sustainable, and that, for you, the defining characteristic that you see in tribal people is their self sufficiency. So rather than seeking to organize ourselves the way tribes did and work for money, you would urge us to become self sufficient, to no longer depend on anyone other than the small group of people we will band together with tribally for anything we might need.

Is that your suggestion?

Todd #14842
portland, Or USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 20:2:2 CST (GMT -6:00)

Hey guys, I just popped in and noticed a disgusion about tribal business. I've heard "tribal business" brought up before, but I'm a little shakey on what it is. I don't mean to jump in here and ask ya'll to back track, so if it's a hassle to answer, don't worry about it.

Also I saw someone write about the "feminine mystique". Has anyone read Kate Millet or Firestone? They both part of second wave feminism. Firestone takes it a little further then Millet and suggest that woman were cursaed with having to bare children. But Millet is interesting because she talkes about "Sexual Politics". She suggest that gender and sex relations are political in nature, that male has an ascribed status of power over women and children. And that by simply "allowing" women into, say, the corporate work force isn't necessarily equality because then the woman becomes male identified. In order to compete with the male, she must give up certain aspects of her womanhood, etc. Anyhoo Millet's pretty interesting.

madrone #14841
, USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 18:42:28 CST (GMT -6:00)

CP- I didn't "dismiss" The Feminine Mystique, only said I hadn't read it. I am well aware of it's influence, and have tremendous gratitude for it's existence...but it wasn't a book I felt called to read. As you have no idea what I have read, or done with my life, or thought about, or anything besides see a highly microcosmic view of me here, I don't think you're in a position to dismiss me yet. So, please take a little closer look for a little bit longer before you jump to conclusions.

Sara, I'm sorry that things are tough for you right now, truly...I know what hard times are like. But please note that I did say I didn't think you were necessarily wealthy--just more privileged than millions of your near neighbors in NYC. Part of that privilege is that you have many choices that many of your neighbors do not, partly by virtue of your education, and because you do not have to live in NY but have other options. I know it's tough for you now--and I want to gently remind you that part of why it's so tough is because you are making the choice to stay somewhere that rent is so high! ANd also, in part that "so tough" is a matter of what you're used to and what you think you oughta have. When you are not just broke, but broke with kids and no partner, when you're broke with no partner to help with the kids and no education and maybe your mom was an alcoholic or crackhead so you also have serious learning disabilities and other health problems and there's no family in another, less expensive place to live---well then that's a whole different kind of tough that I am guessing you haven't seen in your life yet. And it is the very kind of life that I am saying that millions of your neighbors have. Me and my kids have been through some very though times indeed, including homelessness--and all I can say is, I might have caved in to self-pity and despair except for one thing: I looked around the world and saw that even with our troubles, we STILL had it better than MOST OTHER PEOPLE ON THE PLANET. And also, even more importantly, I knew that I had made choices that I was living by. Though those choices took me through some very tough times, I knew I would not trade back for the alternatives (such as staying with a man for financial reasons, or becoming an active member of takerdom). The point of this is that remembering that I was making choices was a very empowering thing, it gave me the guts and the faith to survive to better things, better times.

so, I offer these thoughts to you as a kind of medicine for the mind that can, if you choose, act to strengthen your spirit and resolve. I am not meaning to talk down to you, or blame you for feeling bad. But it is true, that what doesn't kill you will make you stronger, and that following choices through with committment, or making new ones if needed, will bring about better times.

I'm sorry that my comments came at a time when you were already feeling vulnerable. I know that when I'm feeling down, I don't necessarily hear things as they were meant, but through the filter of my pain--and I think that may have happened for you today, concerning my post about your life in NYC. And please remember that it was you who got into the condescending remarks first, so dismissive of "hippy-dippy" etc, and leaning on some research you once did to support your opinion...perhaps an invitation to another's less than entirely friendly response! But neither was my response especially nasty, though it may have seemed so in the mood you were in.

I hope you're feeling better!


Ameno #14840
Los Angeles, CA USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 18:40:33 CST (GMT -6:00)

#1. The Revolution IS our Evolution. Please don't tell ME that (look at my e-mail address for crying out loud).

I am glad that all of these points are being brought up in response to my posts, because they are all the focus of my discourse (the "much awaited" I'm sure ;)).

Jaret- Thank you for reiterating what I said. The mark of a TRUE Tribal Business would be that it NEEDED to outsource for 0% or human, capital, or natural resources. Noticed that I stressed the word NEEDED. A newspaper is not a very good example of a tribal business. I don't know how many of you are from Pennsylvania, but there are Dutch Amish there who make the most amazing baked goods and jams, etc... Now, they absolutely DO sell those things to visitors and even "export" some of the stuff they make to the outside world. However, the Amish community is SELF SUFFICIENT (that is what I truly meant when I said self contained, not some sort of living in a vaccuum). If the rest of the world ceased to exist, and only they were left, they could go right on making pies and jams and could survive just fine. EVEN IF THE CONSUMERS CEASED TO EXIST (the people who bought the pies in US currency), THE AMISH WOULD STILL GO ON JUST FINE.

Now, back to the newspaper. If there was enough manpower to make all of the capital resources themselves (like paper, ink, generate electricity for computer, printing press, etc..) AND the people in that business could eat food from the surroundings around them or grew it themselves... THEN it would be a TRIBAL BUSINESS... and.......... YES, THAT IS ABSOLUTELY THE ANSWER. The Amish outsource for some stuff (pie tins, and glassware, etc), but it is purely by choice, because they are able to make all of those things themselves if they need to. They have both the knowledge the materials, and the manpower.

Our economy operates the way it does because of "six degrees of seperation." In otherwords, due to how things are "outsourced", you can associate a mom and pop liquor store in Des Moines with a drug dealer in New York in 6 or less associations (I don't know how many have played this game, but it certainly is interesting).

Jaret, you have helped me to explain the difference between a tribal business and a taker business. And here it is:

A taker business outsources out of necessity. A tribal business outsources by choice.

For all of those supporting mom and pops as ALL GOOD, remember that multinational corporations are ONLY the evolution of mom and pops. There was a time on this planet when the only businesses were family businesses (as I will talk aobut in my discourse). If you want to just GO BACK to family businesses, that's fine, but you WILL have corporations in no time flat.

Off to complete #1 in my discourse series.

Mike #14839
, USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 18:33:35 CST (GMT -6:00)

Regarding giving things up. It seems to me that if people really had what they really needed, they wouldn't be insatiable for crap.

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