The claim that one has to be comfortably out of debt to Taker society before “starting something tribal” is of course nonsense. You need only look at the examples of tribal living given in Beyond Civilization to see this.
Rennie and I didn’t have heavy debts when we started the East Mountain News, but we were certainly not debt-free. We had less than $50 cash, had mortgage payments to make on our house, as well as credit-card debts. I doubt if any members of the Neo-Futurist theater company are debt-free. I pointed out that Ben & Jerry’s began as a tribal venture (though it didn’t grow to its ultimate size as one), and I’m sure both Ben and Jerry carried the usual debt burden of people in this society when they started out.
One of the legacies that our culture’s “major” religions have conferred upon us is the solid connection between virtue and suffering. If something is good to do, then it’s probably going to be painful, and if something is painful, then it’s probably going to be good.
By this reasoning, therefore, if making your living tribally is good, then it’s going to be painful. People almost insist on its being painful. The point I was trying to make in Beyond Civilization is that making your living tribally is easy and pleasant (and it has nothing to do with being saintly).
Though I feel it contributes to saving the world, making your living tribally is not about saving the world, it’s about escaping wage slavery. It’s not something you do after escaping wage slavery, it’s something you do in order to escape wage slavery.
NOTE: The original website had a guestbook where people could sign in and write what they wanted to say.
posted: 08 Oct 2000
updated: 01 Apr 2002
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