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Ishmael Community Guestbook Archive


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

madrone #14793
, USA - Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 6:1:6 CST (GMT -6:00)

Verevolf:

It seems you were speaking mainly to me, at least throughout most of that last post, so I will reply:

First, I want you to know that for the most part I really DO appreciate your thoughtfulness here, and really DO NOT see you as being "sheepish", most of the time. However, in the post that both Ameno and myself responded to, you sounded unusually (for you) sheepish. My reply on that was really meant more generally than only to you, because the fact is, there are plenty of times when folks do act as if DQ, and DQ alone, has the right perspective. And this issue of feminism is a good example; DQ never said we should look deeply into this, and therefore (so it seems) the issue is considered irrelevant, "out of place in this discussion".

Perhaps you and others do not see only one right way to walk out of takerdom. BUT! It sure looks to me as if most of you have identified feminism in general, and my ideas concerning our exploration of the personal in specific, as THE ONE WRONG WAY to go.

So, apologies for making it seem as if I always think you sound sheepish, for nothing could be further from the truth. In general, you are actually another of my favorites here! Try to remember that though I may post a reply to one person, I am always talking to everyone--try not to take my remarks/critiques too entirely personally, bearing in mind that I speak to all, though I may use a specific post/person to jump off from. Surely you have noted, as perceptive as you seem to be, that sometimes, some people get a little "saviorish" about DQ and "biblical" about his work--?? This is especially annoying and also amusing to those of us who've been around a little longer, and who have read much more than DQ in our day. Dig it, bro, except for the Cain and Abel stuff/Totalitarian Ag perspective, DQ didn't bring much new to my table. What I appreciate most about him is that he took what I learned from feminism and put it in a palatable form for men! And I could name many other feminist-types of both genders who feel just the same about his work.

By the way, the thing I liked most about your post is that is was a great example of being passionate without being especially attackative. You were intense but not violent--I could hear your thoughts and feelings both, because you owned them instead of blaming me, or trying to make me look stupid.

I am provocative, and deliberately so. DQ has named many ways in which we all oughta wake up...but he missed a few, or perhaps chose not to go there. It's not a pretty job, as they say, but someone's gotta do it.

And finally, what exactly is the "generality" of my remarks about Jim? I was trying to be very specific, tho I guess I was counting on folks' specific memories of very specific things that Jim has mentioned lately--homeschool, wilderness school, intuition, marriage. To me, these are the very personal and much needed kinds of issue that need our attention (along with the rest, as important as the theories/ideals).

Dang! First I am assumed to be doing nothing but male-bashing, now I'm provoking anger for being male-affirming! Luckily for me, I don't take it personally--I've been around long enough to know that this feminist perspective does not go down easy for men, and that has nothing to do with the way that I express myself, and everything to do with patriarchy's male privilege, which dies very hard in men's and women's minds both.

And I've seen enough activism and idealism to be left with no doubt at all that the movement which leaves out feminist perspective is a movement doomed to failure. More specifically, the members of a movement who refuse to incorporate feminist perspective, are themselves doomed to repeating history, and staying stuck personally, regardless of their fine ideals and marvellous plans.

And that's because the political is personal, before its anything else. I didn't invent that, but just like with air and water, I certainly honor it.

So, thanks, Verevolf--and keep on going through those feelings.

Madrone


VerevolfTheGrouch #14792
, USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 4:30:23 CST (GMT -6:00)

Let me be perfectly clear here: if I restate something that Daniel Quinn has said it's because I find it relevant to the discussion at hand.

If someone asserts that business is the disease that we must get rid of, and I think that's wrong and I think that what Daniel Quinn has said is about the clearest way to voice my disagreement, I'll use what Daniel Quinn has said to voice my disagreement. And you're damn right I resent it when you start talking to me as if I have sheep mentality and when you start assuming you know things about me and everone else here that you don't actually know. I don't believe anyone here finds it absolutely necessary to fit everything in with what DQ says/believes/teaches. I don't think that very many, if any, of us are here "just because" DQ's message gives us the idea that there's hope while we sit back and do nothing to effect change.

All this damn preaching is getting annoying to say the least. When I have something personal I wish to say, I'll say it then and not before then. I have nothing personal to add at the moment that I feel will benefit any discussion currently going on here. I'm not in any sense "avoiding" it. I'm not sure I even want to know what you mean by Jim seeing most clearly the need for "going personal" with this idealism, because it sounds like another broad, sweeping generalization with assumptions that you know things that you don't know.

I never contested whether the patriarch or the Taker came first. I said patriarch and Taker are not one and the same, even if they are closely related.

I also do not think that the "tribal business" is in any way going to be an end-all solution or even an overly satisfactory one, a point I made clear some days or weeks ago (but, oh yeah, I've got to agree with DQ on everything). The point is that tribal business could be a step in the right direction. Talking about dismantling the machine by force is pure fantasy. Give me one example of where people have fought against the machine where it actually worked and the machine completely dissolved, to be replaced by equality and a good life for all.

Don't think I'm clinging to business just because I say the tribal business could be a step in the right direction. I have no love of business. But, as Daniel Quinn has said (yeah, that's right, I'm quoting him once more, because it's relevant), we can't all melt back into the jungle, especially not overnight. I'm not 100% sure tribal business can work. It doesn't matter. It's an idea. If you want to share other ideas about how to escape the Taker prison, please do. If you want to tell everyone the one right way to bring down the Takers, the one right level of commitment, the one right goal, please keep it to yourself.


madrone #14791
, USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 2:57:46 CST (GMT -6:00)

Ameno--

Great Stuff, to which I entirely agree. And thanks for pointing out that some here--in a recent case, you, Verevolf--seem to find it absolutely necessary to be fitting all into "what DQ said/believes/teaches". Sorry Verevolf if you don't like hearing that, it's what I heard in your response to Ameno, just as he did. And see in many posts from others--as if even DQ himself would want for us to see his viewpoint as the one and only and most comprehensive truth, which I don't believe he does, and that is why he is one of the few male writers on important subjects that I have been willing to read in recent yrs.

Jim, I much appreciate your posts. I see you having a highly personal approach to all of this, which of course I believe is much needed. Yes, go to homeschool, or better to to unschooling your son....look into John Holt's writings if you haven't already, and also the "growing without schooling" group which grew from his work. And word to the wise, if your son has been in school for more than 2yrs already: kids get very attached to school as part of their identity (even those who do not perform so well), and the transition can be difficult for them. Definitely worth it for all, but not as easy as you might think. HOpe I'm not just repeating lessons you've already learned, here, just want to give you a ton of support for your idea. To me, school is the place where kids, above all, learn to regurgitate Mother Culture. Forget the idea that anything school does or teaches is of any value! Have you heard of John Taylor Gatto, or the Gentle Wind School? If not, look 'em up on the net, well worth it.

Libran, I already apologized for not knowing all the men's names, and see, here I am remembering them, now that I am talking here instead of just reading. You have time to complain about being depersonalized by me, but still no time to reply (nor has anyone) to the basic point I have attempted time and again to engage with in this group.

And that is, the cultural memes about violence which we enact personally; also the question of why it is somehow inappropriate for us to do what some have called therapy in such a dismissive way. Now, to me, this is what I refer to as what is so "manly" about this discourse--for I have seen this over and over again throughout my life, that men simply adore hashing over "great ideas", and won't touch the personal with a 10ft pole. Of all the men posting here, I find Jim the most refreshing for the way that he clearly sees the necesssity for "going personal" with this idealism--referring to his thoughtful posts about his marriage, homeschool, etc. But also it appears that he is somewhat older than the rest (on average)--so perhaps has learned the hard way that talk doesn't amount to much without walk.

As for which came first, the taker or the patriarch, in one way I hardly think it matters. In another, I think it matters greatly...or maybe I could say that I believe that the two arose somewhat simultaneously. At some point, humans realized that we could take life by force, and we did and turned it into a product, and removed ourselves from the web in our own minds. Now, don't try to tell me that it could just as easily have been women doing the taking, just exactly how could women have used brute force against men to enslave them? Not possible! Even the cultures that look to us as if they might have been "matriarchal", would have to have been different in qualitative ways from patriarchy, because women as a group would not have been able to gain compliance from the men through the use of violence. Not that women are "by nature less violent than men" (tho I suppose some might make that argument), but that there is no way that women, subject much more to the physical vulnerability of pregnancy and early motherhood, simply could not have maintained the degree of violence necessary to keep men underfoot. AS women have been kept, through the use of force and the threat of death or exile, for several millenia now.

Now, I am sorry that so many men find it objectionable that patriarchy exists, and that they do not feel comfortable with the knowledge of what their forebears wreaked upon women and the rest of the planet. It IS, however a historical reality that is enacted even today, in many places around the world. I do not suggest that any of YOU men here, support or consciously abet this--nor the women, either.

What I am saying, and have been saying since jkd and Brigitte left off, is that each of us, men and women alike, have been conditioned to enact memes which are destructive to us all. ONe of those concerns the use of violence as a response to stress or threat. Another concerns the avoidance of all things personal, in favor of abstractions and objects. These things, if you would bother to look into the history of it all, did arise with the dawn of patriarchy!

No, you didn't invent patriarchy and neither did I! But we are acting it out all the same, and will continue to do so until we decide that its worse to live this way than it is to confront its memes within our own personal selves (and others within our communities)

Last, but certainly not least, no one here gets to decide what we talk about. Feminism has as much place in this discussion as any other thing--no surprise that a man said that (oops, forgot who)! And I am guessing that even DQ would agree--not that that matters much to me, but those of you who care might want to ask him.

The whole point is to find the ways to walk away. The aspects to that are many.

Madrone


John Stevens #14790
, USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 2:17:5 CST (GMT -6:00)

Who here has read David Icke? I think he offers a nice balance to the work of Mr. Quinn in his views of history and the near-future.


VerevolfTheGrouch #14789
, USA -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 23:24:13 CST (GMT -6:00)

I agree. That's what a product-centered economy is all about.

Products don't just get produced for need in a product-centered economy.


Jim Linder #14788
San Jose, CA USA -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 23:23:25 CST (GMT -6:00)

Ameno, you didn’t read my scenario very carefully. I am all over these headlines. Who do you think formed one of the grass-roots groups to give out books, voted for a non-bonehead president, and even volunteered on their staff, volunteered on the Grow-it Use-it group (don’t get me wrong, this is driven less by the buds and more by the second hand smoke), helped found a co-housing development, drove all the way to Portland to help spur on the Homeschooling pilot (with my son), hell I even had some of those students join me in my housing development (tribe), helped form the Leaver party, etc.

You see for me, I don’t want to ever take on the cabin. I want to wake up the passengers. I will leave it up to my children to decide to keep awakening, or to rush the door. My guess is they will all have parachutes by then, and will simply let the plane crash.

I am reading Ishi to get a better understanding of the indigenous way of life. Don’t plan to find any here. What is really curious to me is that Ishi lived in just about the exact area I plan to move to. So I am interested in how they spent the seasons, the foods they ate, and other things like their housing to help me plan my tribe.

My pet peeve about religions is that they are full of hypocrites. So I don’t want to ever do that. Not that walking away is a religion (although it can be), but I really feel that by living in the country in a more sustainable lifestyle, but at the same time being active (some of the most closed minds are in the country) I will be more effective in awakening and changing minds. Example, for the foreseeable future, my teepee, or yurt, or log cabin will have a satellite Internet connection, probably powered by a paddle wheel in the stream. (So I can keep up with this GB, ha!)

Jim


Todd #14787
portland, Or USA -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 23:20:42 CST (GMT -6:00)

Yes, I understand. What I was getting at is that we can call a money a product, just as we can say that there is nothing that isn't natural, because everything comes from what exist here. But we want to make a distinction. Money is generally earned. It acts, as you have suggested, as a go between. But is not always used for products. A medical corporation might produce a drug for cancer, but it would be hard to say that they're producing this drug just because people need it. Though is impossible to say that they wouldn't produce a drug because people need it, but they aren't going to produce a drug unless they get a profit, well maybe in a socialist country. They are concerned with its exchange value, but it has a high demand because it has a high use value.


VerevolfTheGrouch #14786
, USA -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 23:8:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

There's no word game here.

Scenario 1 - No abstraction

"I'll give you this hammer in return for that pot."

"No. I have no use for a hammer."

Scenario 2 - Abstraction

"I'll give you money in return for that pot."

"Okay. I can use money to buy any other product."


Todd #14785
portland, Or USA -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 23:5:23 CST (GMT -6:00)

It kinda seems to me that product is the material and profit is a bit more abstract, though it can be reduced to the material, but we must be careful not to get into complicated language games. We may never work our way out of the garble.

I don't know much about business, but there certainly aren't many in business just to create a product, they want profit, with profit one has or gain gain status.

a products exchange value sometimes is more important then its use value


VerevolfTheGrouch #14784
, USA -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 23:2:45 CST (GMT -6:00)

I also don't remember where Quinn or I or anyone else suggested that locking up the food came before totalitarian agriculture.

Yes, it was a conscious decision to adopt agriculture and not hunting and gathering as their lifestyle -- people choose agriculture because agriculture allows settlement.


VerevolfTheGrouch #14783
, USA -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 22:56:46 CST (GMT -6:00)

You're splitting hairs, and "kindly" refrain from suggesting that I'm just regurgitating someone else's words and not thinking.

Business is most definitely PRODUCT-centered. Yes, people conduct business to make money, but money is a PRODUCT. Or rather, it is an abstraction of products. Rather than relying on the trade of the real products, because people may or may not want your real products, we use an abstraction of products: money, a product that everyone wants because it is a product that everyone wants.


Todd #14782
portland, Or USA -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 22:49:50 CST (GMT -6:00)

Ameno, you're right, I overlooked that the first time I read your passage. They were fleeing, not simply walking away. Fear is a huge factor. And we've seemed to have locked ourselves into a kind of moral aparratus that prevents us from .... giving back the knowledge we stole, from the gods, in a sense.

And the old ways do die hard. We see this with the French revolution as well as the Russian revolution, which both attempted to obliterate the old ways, to a degree at least.

We are however seeing a new thought emerge with science, especially quntum physics. There seems to be an inner connectedness with all things. And this is relatively new. I don't know it will have the affect that Newton or Galelio (who wasn't the first to figure out the heliocentric theory, but everyone was so taken with Aristotle and the bible, they just dind't want to listen). Anyhoo I'm not really ready to suppose that quantum physics will change our view to make us aware of the wholeness of everything. I think the market has a much more profound affect on that then science will. I hope I'm wrong however.

I don't know about the whole walking away thing. We certainly aren't equipped, in my opinion to survive in the "wild". And unless we flee, we might not walk away.

But what if the solution isn't behind us? I know we judge and think of things empirically, and must find examples of how to better do things, but what if we're making gold out of paper. It certainly seems that to live better, we need to follow the peace keeping laws of those in pre history....well crap, I don't know what I'm gettin at. Todd


Ameno #14781
Los Angeles, CA USA -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 22:46:25 CST (GMT -6:00)

And Jim, notice how your timeline required YOU PERSONALLY to do nothing. (Except smoke buds of course, and can you spare some, because from the looks of the timeline, it's some potent shit)


Ameno #14780
Los Angeles, CA USA -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 22:41:23 CST (GMT -6:00)

Jim,

I too read Ishi a long time ago. Be very careful. There are no Ishis in your area. The only Ishis left in this country, as a matter of fact, are a VERY few Hopi. They live in a small village on Black Mesa in Arizona. They live in a village called Hotevilla and are, for the most part in their 80s. The rest of the tribe is like the other Indian tribes in this country, unfortunately caught up in Takerville. If you want to find out more aobut the hopi, there is quite a bit online (their ancient prophecy is fascinating and relates directly to Ishmael).

I too seek to change minds. Like I said before, I have no desire to go out in a "blaze of glory." That ain't me. But people will not be shaken form their daze unless your voice resounds with the clarity of one SUPREMELY dedicated.


Jim Linder #14779
San Jose, CA USA -
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 22:38:24 CST (GMT -6:00)

This will crack some of you up, but I was up till 3:00 last night putting this together. Buzz's posts started me thinking about how we might reach the end. So I put together this little exercise. It only goes out 30 years, but I think most will get the idea. If nothing else we'll all have a good laugh.

Jim's Realistic Saved World Scenerio

Future Newpaper Headlines:

2003: Countries start imposing sanctions on the US for ignoring Global Warming

2003: Ishmael becomes best seller as grass-roots groups around country distribute book for free.

2003: Cigarettes slated to become illegal by 2015. Tobacco farmers and Cigarette companies given until then to change their businesses. Massive government health initiative created to help smokers quit. Campaign led by CEO of Philip Morris who “Wants to make the world a better place”

2004: Internet taxes deferred for 10 more years.

2004: Non-Bonehead president elected in the US.

2004: US joins the rest of the world in agreeing to take steps to slow Global Warming

2004: 3 year experimental Federal law allows any individual or family to grow any plant and process for their own consumption. Known as “Grow-It, Use-It” law. Chemical processing of plants is still illegal. Plants may only be boiled, dried, or roasted. This overrides Tobacco laws slated for 2015, as long as folks grow their own. Marijuana is also legalized along these lines.

2005: Sahara desert sustainable village experiment started

2005: Basketball size meteor hits China. Thousands die.

2005: Growing co-housing movement across developed countries.

2005: Portland Oregon attempts homeschooled high school. Small high school turns classrooms into resource center. Allows students to come and go as they please.

2006: “UN declares transfer of foodstuffs across national borders destructive to humankind focuses instead on medical aid and sanitary facilities”

2006: Organizers of Sahara desert sustainable village experiment abandon village. One person dies.

2006: After several long time senators leave office; senate has youngest average age ever

2006: Homeschool High School as it has become known, graduates first students. Test scores 20% higher than state average.

2007: 7.6 Earthquake hits California 2000 dead. USGS reviews funding for earthquake research.

2007: Election laws in Oregon changed to favor voters rights. New Leaver party formed that takes over 30% of Oregon state and federal positions

2007: Federal law requires that 80% of materials from all major building demolitions be recycled.

2007: Federal “Grow-it, Use-It” law extended for 5 more years.

2008: “Lead by Oregon, states start ratifying “Locality” laws. Stating that each county must be self sufficient by 2050 in energy and food production, and in waste disposal.”

2008: First independent president elected in US, solely using her own money.

2008: New president forms Leaver political party.

2009: “Low population states create immigration laws and border patrols to stem tide of people moving out of congested areas.

2009: Election funding/Lobbying reform of substance finally passed in congress. Causes huge backlash as major industries lose lobbying rights. One senator’s family murdered. Oil executive indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit murder.

2009: Massive increase in construction as counties build local plants and industries. Many municipalities choose renewable resource plants. Increased construction causes cost of all utilities to increase rapidly. Subsequently energy consumption is reduced. Some plant construction stopped in progress.

2010: Oregon and 3 other states adopt homeschool high school model. Oregon begins elementary level pilots.

2010: Iceland first country to create maximum residency laws. Followed closely by Sweden.

2010: Federal law limits salaries that can be paid to professional athletes

2010: In military coup staged after massive rioting, communist government of China is overthrown.

2011: Nevada first state to grow all major food crops within its borders.

2011: Civil war in China breaks out as country breaks into 12 different regional republics.

2011: Flat income tax of 12 percent imposed. Corporate income tax rescinded. New accounting laws implemented to curtail fraud. IRS re-focuses on fraud cases.

2012: Mayan calendar ends…. Nothing happens. Arithmetic error found in ancient Mayan calculations.

2012: Nevada must import food to feed growing number of immigrants. Reviewing immigration laws.

2012: Leaver party spreads to every state, president reelected.

2012: Federal “Grow-It, Use-It” law made permanent. Constitutional amendment proposed

2013: Global Security Force created. Overseen by UN.

2013: Most overpopulated states pass new housing start restrictions in urban counties. Cost of living in urban areas skyrockets subsequently forcing many families to live on the street or move out of the area.

2013: Minimum wage raised above poverty level. This makes many services and products very expensive to own. Purchases of luxury items decreases.

2013: Chinese Civil war stops after six months of intense negotiation. 12 republics agree to co-exist, and form mediation body to settle inter-republic disputes.

2014: State of Washington decides to dismantle Bonneville damn due to reduced need for electricity. This is closely followed by California (3 damns), and Arizona (2 damns)

2014: Sales Taxes repealed effective 2020. County and Local lotteries legalized by all 50 states to replace funding.

2014: Issue of automobile manufacture in US resolved by allowing each state to have independent car companies. Almost complete loyalty to state car companies effectively stops car imports.

2015: Mercedes Bens, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Acura, and Infinity car lines cease operations.

2015: Cigarettes made illegal unless you grow your own tobacco. Home starter kits for tobacco, marijuana and coca plants widely available.

2015: All major religions report unexplained enrollments are dropping. 6 Catholic churches burned. Vatican car bombed.

2016: Sahara re-forestation project started.

2017: 17 states adopt Homeschool High School models.

2020: World population projected to decrease for the first time in 2030.

2025: World population decreases for first time. Current population 8 billion. Scientists not able to project world populations as all models assumed growth.

2036: Sahara re-forestation project progressing. Made easier by climate changes in western Sahara due to new trees.

Maybe this reveled too mush about myself...

Jim


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