Beyond Civilization

In your books you stress the idea that the Taker way is unsustainable because our style of agriculture breaks the law of life. Then in Beyond Civilization you wrote about how to move past the Taker way.

The book was really interesting especially with the examples of creative ways people are organizing themselves differently, but I wondered why you didn’t talk about how to redo our agricultural food system.

This is both a question and a comment. On your website I see people constantly asking you what should we do?

I myself wondered this after reading Ishmael. But I have now, after some reflection, realized that this is in many ways a Taker mindset. Am I wrong to think that we can do enough just by becoming Leavers ourselves?

I guess what I am trying to say is that, can’t we, just by adopting the lifestyle of a Leaver, change all we need to? Is our culture not like a prison, in that if one person were to stroll out, the other prisoners would follow suit?

I am having trouble explaining my thoughts exactly, so I will just ask you, do we really need to do anything more than leave the Taker prison?

Every time I talk about walking away from civilization and living tribally, my friends and family say they are all for it, but when we go thru possible scenarios they all seem to end in the ATF burning down our “compound.” To paraphrase Tolstoy, all Taker societies are maintained by violence or the threat of violence.

The U.S. government will not sit idly by while we stop paying taxes and stop asking for building permits, they will view us as a secessionist and attack. While true that it would be difficult to attack multiple “tribalist”‘ groups, I am talking about doing this tomorrow with just one group of people.

Unless I wanted to be a martyr, which I don’t, shouldn’t I be prepared to fight? How will it be different than the U.S. government attacking the Native Americans?

I am interested in finding any models of new tribal economic ventures that get into the details of how a group in this mode can successfully operate.

For example: How do groups structure decision-making and other tasks that have usually been embedded in hierarchical structures?

Do they place a value (monetary or other) on different tasks in a more complex group, or does everyone share in the success and/or failure equally?

How do groups deal with questions of venture capital? Or is there a more flexible model for funding and investing?

A population that is overrepresented beyond sustainability will feel some sort of backlash (I think this is called the revenge effect). Is the human species collectively able to make the choice to stop an overall population increase before there is a revenge effect?

If we were to suppose that all humans were capable of this trait, we would also be acknowledging something that (to my knowledge) has not happened in our evolution; an entire species choosing not to further increase their representation in the gene pool for a long term view of survival.

This has been a consistent road block for me.

It’s been over a decade since Ishmael was published. My question is, how are we doing?

You once described the potential for exponential growth of the ideas in Ishmael. Has this been the case, or do you think there may come a time when “Quinn-changed minds” are relegated to the ranks of cultish idealists?

My friends and family have put me in such a category for years, and I’m starting to believe them.