Narrative

Activist Diary #3

A few days ago I attended my first anti- badger cull rally, in Exeter, SW England (my nearest city). We marched from Belmont Park and through the town centre, with police escort. We ended up in the central pedestrianised zone of Princesshay.

I enjoyed the badger masks and the painted faces. I enjoyed the feeling of comradery on the march, although I felt a little on the outside. I despaired along with everyone else at the complete lack of science behind badger culling, which has been going on for fifty years. It is not disputed that cattle pass TB (tuberculosis) on to badgers, but there is no evidence that it happens the other way round. One of the speakers at the rally said that if the currently apathetic public knew the truth of what was going on, the truth of the government’s scapegoat policy towards badgers, it would be enough to end the reign of the Conservatives and trigger an emergency general election.

The problem is, the public generally have an ignorant trust of the people in power, whoever those people are. There is a cognitive bias in human beings, myself included, of trusting authority. Whoever is in power, most of us trust that they would not dare to implement a policy of genocide of native species, on no scientific basis, just to keep safe the votes of the farming community as a whole, not all of whom believe the lies they are told about the effectiveness of such culls. The culls are a cynical ploy to unite farmers in favour of the Tory government, and show that the government couldn’t care less about the actual problem of bovine TB, which is better treated by vaccinating farms and introducing stricter hygiene procedures.

For me though, the larger issue has to be climate breakdown. As this article shows, methane from livestock is a contributor to climate warming and thus the climate breakdown that is beginning to reach disastrous levels around the world. Additionally, inefficient farming practices result in nitrogen being released as nitrogen oxide and other greenhouse gases, further contributing to global warming. The use of artificial nitrogen fertilisers is most associated with livestock farming. (Of course, nitrogen is naturally occurring everywhere, but that is not the issue. The issue is an artificial increase in greenhouse gases). Moreover, if we, as a species, ate less meat and dairy, and cared more for the livestock that we did keep, not concentrating them in industrial complexes where diseases like TB spread more quickly and affect more animals, then quite probably the extra inhumanity of badger culls would not be resorted to. The badger culls are a ‘face saving’ measure, hiding the gross effects of industrial farming on animals and the planet.

So I handed out my cards to the cull protesters, for the non-violent direct action (NVDA) I will be engaging in this autumn to pressure the government to act more radically and immediately on climate breakdown. As I did so, I couldn’t help but feel a little frustrated. Badger culling is obviously a horrible practice, but surely the best way to stop it, along with so many other practices damaging to our environment, is to address the umbrella issue of climate breakdown. This wasn’t mentioned by any of the speakers at the rally. One of the demands of Extinction Rebellion of which I am part, is that the government reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2025. This would necessarily involve the decline of industrial livestock farming, as well as many other environmentally destructive practices.

I admire the passion and commitment and moral force of the cull protesters I marched with, and how much more of a force for change they would be if every one of them also campaigned, just as strongly, on climate breakdown.

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Ideas #2 (maximising edge)

Positive affirmations: they only work if you imbue them with emotional content, and if you also work to manifest what they relate to. Otherwise they can result in internal conflict and soul-destroying disappointment.

Here are some positive affirmations and wisdom sayings I’ve used, some self-penned, some assimilated from elsewhere: ‘I am enough’ /// ‘I am innocent’ /// ‘I am fearless’ /// ‘Enlightenment is…total observation of Nature’ /// ‘Love is the Law, Love under Will’ /// ‘Enlightenment is…beginning everything with death in mind’ /// ‘Enlightenment is…total freedom from addiction’ /// ‘Character is greater than personality’ /// ‘The best heroes have a combination of vulnerability and strength’ /// ‘Anxiety and stress can often be a sign of doing too much or too little’ /// ‘Private victory before public victory’ /// ‘Victorious warriors win in their hearts before going into battle’ /// ‘Everything is me’ /// ‘The opposite of addiction is connection’ /// ‘Be proactive’ /// ‘Begin with the end in mind’ /// ‘I am not afraid to be a leader. I am not afraid to explore uncharted territories.’

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City-country conduits: Statistics like these show that the world’s population is increasingly urbanised. Articles like these show that humanity could be at risk of a major breakdown of civilisation either this century or the next. Since cities import most of their food, energy and water from outside the city limits, their densely-packed populations are more immediately at risk from a society-wide breakdown in economic and energy infrastructures.  I have long thought that the resilience of civilisation as a whole could be improved by establishing conduits between city and country in a way which increased understanding and communication between rural and urban populations, as well as flows of energy and resources both ways to reduce the impact of infrastructure breakdown on cities, and the potential burden on the country of fleeing urban citizens. This would in essence be a releasing of pressure on cities by ‘merging’ them better with their rural surrounds, but not in an environmentally destructive way. Regional food security is also implied in this vision, so that ideally, polyculture food growing systems would surround the city and provide all of its food needs (not a new idea). Most importantly I would like to see well-planned and sustainable mobility between city and country increased significantly. I smile at the prejudice of ignorance that exists between city and country dwellers. When I am in the city, sometimes even my most intelligent city friends may make ignorant remarks about rural dwellers and rural life, and when I am around my rural home, I will likewise hear fearful and ill-informed remarks about city-dwellers. This isn’t necessary! This kind of two-way prejudice will only make any serious large-scale infrastructure shocks -which as I’ve said are not unlikely this century- be felt worse and dealt with less efficiently.

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Ensuring Earth is fit for the next seven generations: This is the ‘7th generation principle’ of governance and human culture in general, as propounded by various Native American tribes. It is the idea that every human action and every human decision should have a benign or regenerative effect on the next seven generations of humans to live on the planet, by caring for Nature as a whole (that which supports us). By average modern understandings seven generations amounts to 7 x 25 years = 175 years. This benchmark of sustainability is often quoted in modern movements towards ecological living, but we don’t always stop to appreciate that seven generations is 175 years. Perhaps we should. I advocate sitting in meditation, alone or as part of a group, and trying to envision what the Earth might be like in 175 years. It is almost impossible to guess at, which is precisely the point. How often do communities, businesses and governments plan this far ahead? With the the increasing intelligence of our software, one hopes that more of this will be directed towards scenario planning and global strategy with Earth’s overall ecology at its core. If well-directed, and that means by human beings with deep empathy and experience of Nature, AI could be a force for greatness in putting the 7th generation principle into practice. It’s time to bring the wilderness into Silicon Valley!

How I got Here

There is no free will. If all our consciousness is selfless then it can only be illusion or God (or could it be both?)

Too much presence of mind, without some insight and love to go with it, can bring one to the edge of insanity. I know, because sometimes I go there. I sometimes feel close to things I don’t want to feel close to, but I have trust in myself to use that closeness to observe and learn, rather than react in an unhelpful way.

(Too much samatha, not enough vipassana, the bikkhu warned).

I can never really know how I got here. I’m just here, that’s all.

Global Strategy #1

The global strategy of any human being, entrepreneur, business, community or organisation can only start with a practice of love and a willingness to embrace and understand.

Since love is acceptance, and since we cannot accept what we are unaware of, any global strategy must include cultivating awareness and knowledge of disparate sections of the global population. This is the quintessential challenge for modern strategists; since everything and everyone is interconnected, how can we be aware of a balance of trends across a balance of cultures and markers across the globe, in a way that is productive rather than overwhelming?

My personal vision for Epic Tomorrows is the Heroine Quest. But what global strategic elements should I be aware of to manifest the HQ on a local level? No individual, community or region exists in a vacuum.

It is easy to come up with a static strategy based on a handful of books and research findings, even if they are very good ones. However if we are to develop resilient strategies for ourselves, our groups and organisations, then they must be reflexive to current information, on an ongoing basis. This means putting procedures into place which enable focused, discerning and regular information gathering and processing from across the internet -since it is the internet that is enabling of and reflective of the radically interconnected global culture we now live in, for the time being at least.

Gestalt Therapy teaches that it is only by accepting the whole of onesself, that one can move forward in life and heal. Denial of any part of onesself is an obstruction to growth in the whole. Imagine an oak tree denying one of its branches -it’s impossible; it is not the behaviour of a living organism.

Difficult as it may seem, if we really are arrogant and pretentious enough to presume that we can have a healing effect on global culture, and on the planet as a whole, then the starting place must be an acceptance of every part of what is going on on this planet, and a willingness to understand it, although we may abhor it.

A living global human culture, if it is destined to be an interconnected one longterm, can only be a culture that is aware of and reflexive to all its parts. If this seems impossible, as well it may be, then we could do better by focusing our intentions on creating living, breathing, localised cultures that are likewise aware of, and so healing of, all their constituent parts. It is central to my vision, my quest -the Heroine Quest– that we build such localised cultures. Due to increasing natural resource restraints around the world, to an extent these localised cultures are inevitable, whether we ‘Descend’ civilisation deliberately or whether it crashes. Nevertheless, there may still be a place for a global online infrastructure, and hopefully a radically democratised one.

Whatever happens globally, my own view is that whilst we are still all connected via the web and global economic, energy and food infrastructures, we would do well to strategise for this as comprehensively as possible, following our ethical paths of activism, ecopreneurship and relocalisation, but reflexively to one another’s efforts around the world, and global trends as a whole, whether they are healing and regenerative trends, or destructive ones.

Ultimately, the goal of global strategy is resilience to global shocks, and whether from widespread economic collapse or climate breakdown, such shocks are becoming increasingly likely.

 

How I Got Here: An Ecopreneur’s Story #4

I burn with a vision for a radically different society, a radically improved one.

I’m so grateful to have these tools of the internet and the personal computer, and this WordPress platform. It’s like magic. I just can’t conceive of what the environmental impact is of these tools. It is probably and conveniently impossible to calculate the environmental impact of one laptop, one window onto the net, one blog site. How many animals killed. How much water polluted. It’s a shame that people like Bill Gates have a vision for a personal computer for every human being on Earth, instead of a community internet cafe (and multifunctional space) for every town, which would be far more sustainable.

Whilst still based in my woodland home at Silent Haven, Devon, my entrepreneurial thinking deepened. I don’t know if the wildness of my surroundings contributed to the wildness of my dreams, but I think it did. I developed big dreams, all very egotistical of course, and yet also reflective of my frustration with how the world is, and how much better it could be for everyone -other species included. I have massive dreams for my business, but only because I believe I could help facilitate ‘business to end all business’, in a very literal sense. I do not believe that human beings are governed by market forces, except that we have made it so across most of the globe. It is only by utilising markets as they are, that we can radically change them and to an extent, dissolve them, revealing and renewing those human co-creative forces that have nothing to do with markets and everything to do with evolutionary multi-species-enlightened self-interest.

Nevertheless, we shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that it is only not-for-profit and non-business areas of society that have a monopoly on human wisdom, ingenuity, excellence in communication and co-operation, and even ‘love’. Both Adam Smith and Karl Marx reduced human beings to economic actors. An unfortunate result of classical / dogmatic Marxist thinking (notwithstanding Marx’s great contribution to history) has been a neglect amongst leftists of the great creative potential in human beings to create all kinds of diverse economies based on local, including environmental, needs, as opposed to centralised power structures. Both classical Marxism and Smithsonian economics presuppose a centralised state. The centralised state has allowed the rise of massive corporations, and all their implied unethical ways of being, essentially their environmental impact. In modern times we need ecopreneurs -ethical and ecological entrepreneurs, to break down the intertwined power of state and corporation, to create local and diverse economies. For the Marxists, I would like to suggest to you that this is the best and most grounded path towards socialism. With the right technologies employed and shared, local diverse economies could indeed give rise to ‘scientific socialism’, (although not necessarily in every locality) as Abdullah Ocalan calls it, as opposed to the ‘real socialism’ that we have suffered through history.

-As I deepened my interest in business, I started to read some good business books -books for the independent entrepreneur. I realised that the modern business world, if isolated in environmental context, is full of genius. Genius of logic, strategic thinking, communication skills, envisioning techniques, creative organisational structure and so on. But much more than this: the world of business, especially the world of creative independent entrepreneurs, contains some passionate, loving people, who genuinely want to share their passion and knowledge and love for the world. Yes, they make a living from their creative mission, but hopefully these people would also be facilitated in their joy and innovation in scientific socialist and localised diverse economic contexts, with a greater respect for ecology all round.

One book I read was ‘The Lean Start-up’ by Eric Ries. The key lesson I learnt from this book is the importance of envisioning (visualising and emotionally connecting with) what you want to achieve with any business, and the importance of pivoting, i.e. changing direction with the precise business model and / or product(s) it takes to realise the vision. Before reading this book, I was in danger of confusing product or current business model, with overall vision for change, and thus thinking that my vision had failed whenever a product idea failed (which was all of them, all the time).

Another entrepreneur’s book I read early on was ‘The 100$ Start-up’ by Chris Guillebeau.  More than anything this taught me that almost anyone can be an entrepreneur, and that almost anyone can be a consultant on something they are knowledgeable on or passionate about. The book also taught the concept of ‘just in time’ learning, meaning, it is possible to be engaged on a path of learning whereby you share your knowledge with customers as soon as you learn it, rather than thinking you have to get a degree in something before sharing and capitalising on your knowledge.

I also read the well-known ‘Influence: The Power of Persuasion’ by Robert Cialdini, but to be honest I found this book on marketing technique unsettling and a little dishonest.

Let me reassert, I understand that the modern globalised system of capitalism that we live with is an obsolete and destructive system which must be transformed and dismantled by varying degrees, and without delay. I understand that books like ‘The Lean Start-up’ and ‘The $100 Start-up’ are products of a few privileged minds that are invested in the current prevailing paradigm, and that rely on centuries of oppression of human beings and the planet, and are intertwined with continued oppression, however ‘ethical’ they are in places. But I cannot claim to be any less intertwined with oppression. Unless I throw my laptop away, throw away my connection to the internet, and live very frugally in a monastery-like setting, whether I like it or not I am a symptom and cause of the prevailing paradigm. My personal way of taking responsibility for that is to be a subversive entrepreneur, to draw capital to me from the middle classes and redistribute it for social and ecological justice.

-At one point I contacted a place that gives free business advice in Okehampton. I passed by them an idea for an ecologically-themed online directory. I was asked, ‘how are you going to compete with Google?’ and my answer was that people don’t always know what they are looking for with search engines -my directory would curate information and guide sustainable behaviour. I didn’t pursue this idea at the time, partly because I was put off by the official nature of the feedback I received, which was in terms of SWOT (the supposed strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats model of business planning). Classic SWOT doesn’t really work for me, although I think I use the concept implicitly in a more lateral way in everything I do now.

During this period of taking on a more entrepreneurial mindset, allowing space for my vision to grow, I managed to live quite frugally, partaking in scraps of part-time work here and there, and living rent-free in an ‘unlawful’ self-built dwelling in the woods. I would encourage anyone to do this, if on a careful and ecologically sound basis. The laws of the state are of course, no measure for what is sustainable behaviour for the continuance of our species.

I still feel like ‘I’m not businessy enough’. I have been conned by the business world into thinking that because I dress scruffily and ideally wish to live in a borderless and relocalised world, I can never be an entrepreneur, much less a CEO. The business elites of the status quo quite rightly feel threatened by my vision.

I say to you that we need to throw off the shackles of the stereotypes of the business person and the entrepreneur once and for all. Yes, this has been happening for a while now, but not in the radical way that I envision.

Now more than ever we need an army of super-ethical ecopreneurs, breaking down the environmental impact and excessive power of the large corporations and the state, liberating capital to flow more freely to where it is needed, and supporting the creation of buzzing localised economic hives, with a radically re-worked concept of ‘profit’, equated with enriching one community without disadvantaging another.

@ExtinctionRebellion (Activist Diary #2)

The talk will be of national rebellion tomorrow at the third Exeter Rising Up! meeting in the community centre on Sidwell Street. I’m proud to have started the Exeter Rising Up! branch, and keen to get on with organising for Extinction Rebellion.

It seems to me that it is almost pointless, by now, to try to convince the general public about the more-than-likely coming climate catastrophe, by using science and careful, reasoned debate. It seems to me that the evidence is obvious to anyone who has the psychological and emotional resilience and readiness to act on it. So this is what I call on you to do -to act. The reason that so many of us have not acted before now is a feeling of powerlessness in the face of potentially threatening government institutions -the worst being that the government threatens to do relatively nothing about climate breakdown.

I would call it a reasonable supposition rather than a conspiracy theory that the most attractive strategy of the ruling elites over the coming decades may be to let us, ‘the masses’ die off in our millions, nay billions, so that they alone may inherit the Earth. Do they imagine that they will be protected by bubbles of advanced technology from the worst of climate breakdown? Well, perhaps they would be protected. Do we allow that gross solution, that wilful holocaust of 90% of the human race, to happen? Of course we don’t.

I used to think that activism, including non-violent direct action, was useless in achieving change. I used to smugly watch on television, activists being bundled into police vans or barricaded. However, since getting involved in the #VoteNoHeathrow campaign with Rising Up! this summer, I realised that disparate activist groups can work simultaneously on the same issue, alongside others using conventional channels such as Parliament, to achieve real change. Although the third Heathrow runway was voted through Parliament on the heels of our campaign, in reality the strength of support for #VoteNoHeathrow shows that the runway is unlikely to be built. Especially considering Extinction Rebellion.

Extinction Rebellion is an escalation of Rising Up’s general stance against the government’s inaction on slowing and ceasing carbon emissions. #VoteNoHeathrow continued where #StopKillingLondoners left off, and @ExtinctionRebellion is the next logical step. Extinction Rebellion (XR) is an escalating campaign culminating in significant infrastructure blocks, including road blocks, this November in London and potentially other cities. At least 100 of us now have signed up for arrest. By calculated non-violent direct action (we are well-trained) we will deliberately put ourselves in positions of illegality to draw attention to the immorality of the government and the international community of elites, on climate breakdown. We will be arrested and some of us may be locked up for a time. If this is what it takes, we reason, to put climate breakdown at the centre of the government’s agenda, then so be it. And if XR 2018 is not enough to do it, XR 2019 and 2020 will be.

Fighting #2: Teach girls to fight

I am a peaceful person. Nevertheless, I am realistic about possible future unfolding scenarios, that will be driven by anthropogenic climate change, peak fossil fuels, human population growth and global biodiversity loss. I am just beginning to explore the possibilities and the options, but I have to admit that the likelihood of significant hardship -for everyone- on a level not seen since WWII, to me seems high.

I am deeply peaceful (let me say it again.) Nevertheless there are certain physical self-defensive practices it would be prudent to get familiar with. I mess around with hitting punch-bags, and I have a good spatial awareness. I don’t know what good this will do me or how far I will go with this.

I am also well aware of the patriarchy inherent to modern global civilisation. I am very aware of the global gender power imbalance, the global gender pay gap, and the prevalence of violence and sexual harassment and assault against women, globally, (read these statistics compiled by the United Nations).

All of this was far from my mind as I played rough-and-tumble with my beautiful three year-old niece this morning. As she screamed and giggled with delight, we engaged in a dancing wrestle, with her for the most part being thrown and rolled around my body, until a moment where I ‘gave in’ with her wrestling me to the ground.

The sheer joy of this child, the unobstructed eruptions of pleasure and laughter. As she bumped into me and ran around me and grabbed hold of me forcefully, there was clearly no thought of aggression or harm, but there was a playful understanding that we were opponents…

The second part of this post can only be read on request, by the right people. I do not wish to promote violence as a way of life, and I believe that when all of my proposed Fighting posts are read together, they could help make some individuals very dangerous, if they read me in the wrong way. Only those who can convince me of their good attitude will be allowed to read the full Fighting posts.

genderwild mystic #7

Restrain yourself! -I escape from the gratuitous city.

Gratitude in my flat in the middle of the night -there is no noise here.

Letting go to near samadhi…it begins with a slowing of the mind. Then the speed of pure spirit enters the picture.

The more I let go the crap, the more I speed up.

Body shaking, another kind of letting go. In the middle of the room this body jerks around, taking all of the criticism of the past few days like bullets from every direction. I dance as I am hit by every one, and emerge unscathed, all of that negativity shaken out.

Sometimes I let go of the self-restraint, indulge myself (through one of various sense outlets) and find an extra burst of creativity and uniqueness abounds from within. Restraining myself for some days or weeks again, I put myself to the hard work of realising this uniqueness.

Grateful, but how much of my vision will I see manifest?

Sitting still, letting go, the shape of this body seems absurd.Why would the mind be limited to this strange mass atop my neck? Surely it isn’t? No man here, no woman, much less a human being. Something alien to my human perception, something that just is, something that can never be what humans think it to be.

Then I get up, crazy for some way to effect my insights into general fulfilment in the world. It’s not possible except on its own terms. Nothing to do with me. (There’s nothing to do with me).

So I drop back into desire and the momentum for worldly change, activist achievement, applause for my Art, a righteous redirecting of unjust flows of revenue, and why not?

This genderwild mystic pauses for some affirmation. None comes except the pause itself perhaps.  I saw the need to pause. The advanced form of letting go is speeding up, but then more advanced again is letting go of the speeding up, as necessary, and slowing down again.

It’s almost a miracle that anyone in the world will be able to read these words in just a few minutes’ time. Tell that to someone who lived one hundred years ago. My gratitude is such that if I were to die today, it’s okay, I have known magic.

Perhaps this civilisation is at it’s peak. But the internet can facilitate whatever is next.

I didn’t quite believe the bhikku, at the time, when he said that more than anything he wanted anonymity. But reflecting in the intervening years, I feel the wisdom. May all my celebrity be ironic and an instrument of justice. That’s all.

Otherwise, let me live my remaining years in a forest far from here, perhaps in the Carpathians at the mercy of wolves and bears, the She-ones…I’d rather spill blood to mix with soil and pine resin, die exposed and smell those last, more than any artificial human scent.

The red flower fell at my feet…

The red flower fell at my feet, as I walked past the high hanging basket in Exeter High Street. This was divine providence; synchronicity. On the bus journey to Exeter this morning I had been studying The Roots of Civilisation by Abdullah Ocalan. I am near to the end of this momentous literary and historiographical achievement, written by Ocalan from the prison cells where he has been incarcerated for the past twenty years.

I am at an exciting stage in the book, where Ocalan is describing the crisis of contemporary global capitalism and the corresponding crisis in democracy. His incredibly pragmatic and yet optimistic view of the progression of history is that contemporary capitalist civilisation, inseperable from contemporary democratic civilisation, is the most advanced form of human society that we have yet seen upon Earth -advanced towards our highest good. This is despite the obvious gross abuses within the system, which are in fact integral to the system.

Ocalan does not whine for some communist utopia like some other leftists. Instead, he is a truly radical and progressive leftist. He sees that within the limited democratic institutions and societies that already exist, alongside the disruptive technologies of the 21st century which show great potential for widespread distribution in a democratic and commonly owned way, there are seeds for a truly scientific socialism, as the next natural stage of advancement for human civilisation -in fact a necessary and urgently required stage in the face of the capitalist-ecological global crisis.

Ocalan gives a compelling and damning critique of what he calls ‘real socialism’ -the historical (actually ignorantly a-historical) attempts at socialism which have claimed to be scientific, but which have failed due to their gross materialism (divorced from the creativity and diversity of Nature), their adoption of oppressive centralised state structures in order to maintain their ‘liberated’ systems, their failure to address the oppression of women and finally the technological and scientific immaturity of the historical contexts which could not facilitate the true transcendence of class -not for very long anyway. This overall failure of ‘real socialism’, shows Ocalan, was down to an incomplete understanding of history.

In ‘The Roots…’ it is shown that level of technological advancement and class are intertwined within a society, and it is actually only now within the first quarter of the 21st century that we have the beginnings of the scientific and technological conditions that, in tandem with a grassroots democratic culture, can allow the development of forms of scientific socialism. My own view is that this scientific socialism, although it has not yet been defined to my satisfaction, could be arrived at via hybrid entrepreneurial-socialist localised economic and political systems which compete peacefully against wider capitalist-democratic systems for local dominance and local, democratic economic stability. In other words, my current understanding of ‘scientific socialism’ is a localised economic and political system with vastly reduced disparity between the rich and poor, and increased participation of everyone in democratic life, enabled by ubiquitously shared, close to zero cost, technologies (such as democratic decision-making mobile phone apps). I will expand on this in future posts. Localised food and energy production is also implied, and civil disobedience is also implied, as at least some of the functions of the state are relocalised in grassroots decision-making bodies.

When the blood-red flower fell freshly at my feet, it was as if the fresh scientific socialism advocated by Ocalan had entered the immediate physical world around me in a symbol of Nature-borne presence -but soon to decay if not acted upon.

I then sat in a cafe -a fine capitalist institution that sold me a hazlenut and chocolate croissant and a soya milk latte, an institution that despite its ethical credentials cannot claim to be seperated from the gross oppressions of capitalism- and wrote the bulk of this post.

After I left the cafe I hurried to the Quay and met for the first time an ‘indie online content creator’s group’ (advertised on Meetup.com.) I can’t tell you how enriching this experience was, in terms of how much I learnt about presenting my online writing in a more accessible and commercial way (since I intend to make money from my writing) and meeting other friendly people sharing the struggles of creating and marketing content and some of the solutions. Even the free version of the platform of WordPress that I use to blog, is an incredible system of magic (to anyone except the most technologically minded, those who understand coding) which the democratic culture of modern civilisation has allowed to be propagated and used freely by anyone with a computer and an internet connection (anyone who can get to a public library).

I do not see it as problematic at all that I exist and work in the capitalist sphere in a very active way, as an entrepreneur, and also exist in an activist socialist political sphere, where I aspire to the redistribution of wealth for a more balanced and stable society. This hypocrisy is integral to contemporary capitalist-democratic civilisation and I can’t pretend to be outside of it. Can you? The question is, how do we utilise this hypocrisy constructively, towards greater moral ends. The hypocrisy is in fact necessary in the transition phase to something like ‘scientific socialism’ or a scientific, technology-enabled socialist-capitalist localised hybrid. The hypocrisy of capitalism (and the hypocrisy of all oppressive human civilisations throughout history i.e. in some aspects, every civilisation) continues but is potentially resolved in the current transition phase between the decline of global capitalism and the emergent democratic (including technological) forms which contradict global capitalist forms in many respects, but simultaneously are enabled by them. The so-called sharing economy could be the typical and dominant phenomenon of what I describe. Needless to say, this sharing economy is not available to all. Not yet anyway.

Perhaps another feature of the necessary progression through the current global crisis is the full automation of all menial jobs globally, (excluding sustainable farming which should be fairly shared, fulfilling work) if coupled with a reversal of the negative impacts on the ecological environment of contemporary capitalist civilisation. Anthropogenic climate change could be the worst of these impacts and the one needing addressing most urgently, but not in isolation from every related negative environmental impact of modern human society.

Abdullah Ocalan, freedom fighter, more deeply feminist than some of the feminist Western women I have met, nobody knows whether you are still alive or whether you have died at the hands of your Turkish oppressors. In your honour Ocalan, and for the sake of the positive evolution of the human species, I internalise the strategically evolved tear-like petals of the red flower-head that earlier today was on the coffee-shop table in front of me, that every petal may symbolise a flame of tactical advance towards a reconciled global society -reconciled with Nature and honestly reconciled with the bloody history, including the oppression of women, that the progression of civilisations throughout history has depended upon.

Let these delicate flames not tell of more bloodshed and misguided ‘revolution’ (I do not refer to the Rojava revolution as misguided). As you say, Ocalan, the seeds of the new world system are already with us, are already beginning to flower in some places. All our courage, all our peaceful civil disobedience, all our entrepreneurship, is called upon to optimise the fate of the contemporary capitalist crisis.

!Call out to 18-45’s activists! 35% discount on trial product ‘Epic Life Options’!

I invite 18-45’s activists to get in touch with me to offer your thoughts on how I could serve you with an affordable information-based product that could make future life-choices much more manageable, in such a way that your activism can be continued. This is the Epic Life Options personalised guide, a product-in-development. I have a few simple market research questions I would like to ask you. In return for your time I will give you a 35% discount on the final product. Read through this post for more details.

I propose to offer a variety of information about future career and activism opportunities all in the same personalised life-guide, based on an initial free consultation where as a prospective customer you would tell me your interests and preferences. The life-guide would also be based on different possible futures for humanity as a whole, as identified by Epic Tomorrows.

Well-being will also be a key element of the guide. Having worked in mental health and having been on the receiving end of conventional mental health services, I believe I have a valuable different approach to well-being that I can offer.

Tell me, is this something you would pay for, and if so, how much?

I would love to run through a few simple questions with you by email, phone-call or video-call, to see if my proposed product is something that might suit you, and if not, is there other information or guidance I could provide which may suit you better?

Email me on matthew.tehanu@gmail.com

-Thanks! (This invitation and offer is repeated at the end of the post)

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It’s been about nine months since I started this blog and I’m finally at the point where I can offer some business hypotheses which I hope will be the basis of genuinely valuable and useful information products for my chosen demographic. My chosen demographic, after much brainstorming over the months, and many scrapped and refined diagrams and suchlike, is activists between the ages of 18-45 -particularly those involved in non-violent direct action (NVDA). 

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Recently I was involved in my first NVDA (non-violent direct action) in London. We of RisingUp! were protesting the passing through British parliament of the proposals for a third Heathrow runway -which in our view is a wholly inappropriate project in light of its location and other factors. A dozen of us or so went on hunger strike to put pressure on MPs to vote against the runway, which we argue, they knew would be the morally correct decision. During meetings we had, I flagged up that People Care of the activists had fallen by the wayside a little. A more experienced activist agreed with me and said that sadly, in the heat of actions, People Care was sometimes neglected. So as I was leaving the action early, when I got home I offered to be on call for well-being check-ins for the activists, which was greatly appreciated. This is where some former counselling training came in useful. I realised that there is a real niche for well-being services for activists, to prevent burnout, in a way that supports their general progression in life. For the amazing organisation that is RisingUp! I am happy to contribute to their well-developed regenerative culture for free alongside the other volunteers, but I feel there is a deeper level of People Care -integrated with life-planning- that activists from many different organisations may be interested in as a paid-for service, if I offer it.

I want to nurture the well-being of activists and show them that activism, career and family can be combined in ways they may not have thought possible.. This isn’t ‘any old’ business idea. This comes from a place of wanting deep global system change.

I am currently testing two hypotheses. These hypotheses may need refining (or changing completely) over time: 

1) There is a need for a specific well-being service / well-being advice for 18-45 activists, to prevent burn-out, and take care of the activist during and after the stress of actions, in a way that their long-term mental health is safe-guarded. Personal well-being issues around the individual motivation of activists must also be addressed, accepting that trauma can be a large part of motivation, either in an unhealthy way or a healthy way.

2) There is a need for career / life mentoring advice specifically for 18-45 activists. This includes encouraging more entrepreneurship, which is key in breaking the hold on our society of some of the large unethical corporations. (However, I understand that not all activists are suited to the business / self-employment idea. I can provide mentoring tailored to all 18-45’s activists.) A lack of career and life-mentoring advice for activists is resulting in some people ceasing activist activities as they pursue a career or family. These people mistakenly believe that a career or family life must be opposed to the activist lifestyle. Other activists may feel constantly stretched, trying to balance activism, career, family life and personal well-being. I intend to show that once the correct options are made available, an optimum synthesis of activism, career, family and personal well-being can be achieved.

The Epic Life Options personalised guide is my experimental answer to both 1) and 2) above.

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I invite 18-45’s activists to get in touch with me to offer your thoughts on how I could serve you with an affordable information-based product that could make future life-choices much more manageable, in such a way that your activism can be continued. This is the Epic Life Options personalised guide, a product-in-development. I have a few simple market research questions I would like to ask you. In return for your time I will give you a 35% discount on the final product. 

I propose to offer a variety of information about future career and activism opportunities all in the same personalised life-guide, based on an initial free consultation where as a prospective customer you would tell me your interests and preferences. The life-guide would also be based on different possible futures for humanity as a whole, as identified by Epic Tomorrows.

Well-being will also be a key element of the guide. Having worked in mental health and having been on the receiving end of conventional mental health services, I believe I have a valuable different approach to well-being that I can offer.

Tell me, is this something you would pay for, and if so, how much?

I would love to run through a few simple questions with you by email, phone-call or video-call, to see if my proposed product is something that might suit you, and if not, is there other information or guidance I could provide which may suit you better?

Email me on matthew.tehanu@gmail.com

-Thanks!