I just woke up so am not ready to share a complete opinion but after a day of seeing the article boosted around, I have to say somthing.
is just neo-pioneer bullshit.
tl;dr: building worlds "outside the state" is what indigenous people are doing. when it's done by settler-colonials, it's usually just a LARP of anarchy supported by larger systems of colonialism than the local state. going out into the woods to make art isn't building a better world, it's moving to where resource scarcity isn't absolute for personal prosperity, the same thing colonials have been doing for centuries.
Take a lesson from me, an Indigenous person, who is building indigeneity within the shoals of settler-colonialism. You don't need to move anywhere to build a better world, you just need to move your hands.
and like to be frank i think maybe these approaches don't recognize /how much/ of our resources we've been using.
Moving out of the city isn't going to do /shit/, even if we all stopped making trash and using water and energy, somehow.
We need to be actively making soil, undoing generations of damage to our freshwater resevoirs and topsoil. Art is a bonus.
(There's a /reason/ I'm mostly active on the Web during rainstorms and the winter: I'm busy making dirt all the other times!!
maybe put another way:
Moving to a new place because it has resources isn't doing anything different than kyriarchism.
Decolonize, indigenize. Land back, water back, medicine back, ceremony back.
I'm not presenting these things as step-by-steps as a joke!
I'm now more awake and tbh I don't think this needs a complete opinion. I bet I could find "By securing land and building infrastructure that increases our collective self-sufficiency, we can create worlds on the periphery of the [social] order." almost word-for-word in some pamphlet trying to recruit pilgrims to migrate to new England.
Almost all the replies I received to this deeply upset me, as the indicated a complete absence of the skills necessary to distinguish kyriarchist propaganda from genuine good ideas about beliefs and actions.
Yes, "build new things that provide the means of your survival" is important, "so go out into the countryside protected by imperial soldiers and taxes to live in an artist commune" is a complete non-sequitur.
It shouldn't even take like, much knowledge of decolonization, if any, or settler-colonialism or capitalism or anything: "self-sufficiency" is barely mentioned, in passing, about one commune it looks to as an ideal of... how not to depend on kyriarchism?
"In order to drive a car, you need gasoline! To demonstrate, lets look at some stores, only one of which sometimes sells kerosene."
And again, to focus in on these (white settler-colonial) communes in (protected white spaces) and say "look, it's possible to survive without dependending on the kyriarchy!"
...is so so disrespectful to the generations of people of colour who grew up next to y'all in cities, actively brutalized by all facets of the city's government, and still managed to have weddings, raise families, develop stories, songs, language, art, food, and so on.
@jude_ sent me this line from a poem:
"There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated placed"
The disrespect to want to move out of a desecrated place, because you want to move someplace "unsacred," to "survive..."
How many fucking times are y'all white fucks going to want to flip-flop between the suburbs and cities? The problem isn't your environment, it's /you/.
@theruran it's just so like, personally disrespectful. Here i am living in a city going "look i can survive without serving kyriarchy, so can you!"
and people go "oooh i need money and my dayjob and and and"
but then someone says "come move into the country! make art! that'll end kyriarchism too!"
and suddenly that's a good idea?
i want a vacation too goddamn. :P
@emsenn I think a lot about how Burning Man is all "oooh we're a gift economy!", but not only is it a site of massive consumption, you are allowed to buy and sell the one good that is actually scarce: water.
@starkatt saw this post about "gift economies" but against reciprocity. folk got the cart so far before the horse they're not even sure where they're at anymore
@emsenn I'm not sure I follow?
@starkatt cba to explain right now, chores, sorry <3
@emsenn no worries
@emsenn I know I boosted that article, and I read it. And I totally agree with your take on it.
My understanding of the author's suggestion to start a rural commune was also blinded from seeing it as a neo-pioneer view, maybe assisted by that I only got what I wanted out of the essay based on where I'm at.
While it was useful to know about these other communes the author mentions (I didn't even bother looking into them tbh), I know what they are like based on what I've seen in the past. (cont)
@emsenn My impression of those artist and counter-culture communes are that they are filled with white people coming from better-than-average economic privilege that enables them to skip office work and scratch a living off uninteresting art.
And while they critique some aspects of modernity, filling a tent with techno-gadgets and living out of a van only manages to make life comfortable enough for them - until they decide they're bored with the lifestyle. (cont.)
@emsenn I am generalizing about those communes based on what I've seen before, so it may not be accurate. One that comes to mind is a city in the desert of Nevada (or Arizona, I can't remember) that squats a spot of land deemed disused by the federal government. It exists in some kind of legal loophole from the nuclear era. As you might imagine, it's people with vans, porching it under a sunshade, and playing guitar or listening to the radio. It's more like that Burning Man Vibe. (cont.)
@emsenn I was more inclined to remember Hammer City as an example of what the author was describing, without describing it. So I see how I just filled in the blank based on what I wanted to see. I wouldn't fault the author for not mentioning it because it hasn't materialized yet. Nevertheless, its orientation is different and its mission different from what the author presents that erases indigenous ways of living.
Sorry if I made you upset. Hopefully the above makes sense.
@theruran It does make sense but it's absolutely ridiculous to look to those projects instead of the like, alright, black families whose men all get felony convictions and whose women get stolen and still manage to put together a choir, a backyard garden, and survive, DESPITE also facing the rent-seeking that OP/you are?
Like, no, none of that makes it any beter, that just shows me how deep your fantasies of neopioneerism go.
It's literally like watching a toddler say "NO i won't clean my room lets move to a PALACE with CLEAN rooms mommy!"
and then everyone going "Yea! This is a reasonable request! Let's do it! Wooo!!"
Clean your goddamn rooms.
@theruran it is so so so disrespectful to have abducted populations from all over the planet, brought them into your cities, waged centuries of war against them, and then gone "There's no way someone could live in a city! We gotta move into the countryside!"
White flight is a leading indicator of y'all's social instability; it's a metric and instinct to be feared and mocked, not soothed. Sorry, not sorry.
@theruran there is so so so so much evidence that everything the write says is possible, is happening, today, probably just a neighborhood or less away from you. It's literally just racism that says otherwise.
@theruran "I saw what I wanted to, sorry" is what a lot of replies to my critique had, and: that's fair but then should be triggering a massive introspection about why you saw what you did when you read /that/. I mean, white supremacists read KKK pamphlets and they see their family happy and well-fed, you know? That's just what propaganda does; in fact /that feeling/ itself should be an indicator to be really critical about what you're reading. There should be nothing appealing about that piece and many things disgusting and disappointing.
(One thing that makes me really sad is seeing David Graeber turned into a Great Leader by the emerging leftist ecofascists, which is... unfortunately not a contradiction in terms >_<. But he's being almost turned into a prophet, as though he didn't repeatedly give credit back to the folk who inspired him....)
@emsenn yup. 😔 gonna have to re-read the article and gauge my reaction to it again. thanks for helping me see.
@theruran yea of course thanks for hearing me out! i know it can seem a bit... harsh for me to just take a piece like this and go hard on it and then keep going, but... gotta go hard about something, better it be folks interpretation of an article than later when they're trying to buy a house in the suburbs and getting confused that i'm not excited at their purchase
@emsenn Didn't seem harsh to me, but rather completely justified.
You are the only person setting me straight, other than what I can read in books, so I really appreciate your patience and kindness.
@theruran yea that's another facet of it is, in truth, there's NOT many voices discussing this stuff where you can see, for a bunch of reasons, and so... I can't fault you for using this article, y'know? if you need to say something and you've only got the wrong words, better them than silence.
But then it's just... a part of a tragic history of extermination, appropriation, erasure, assimilation. a reason ideas like mine are uncommon is cause they were illegal until fairly recently, and so there's a lot of work to be done in repairing that, in order to have a good perspective.
@theruran (unfortunately too folk like the author benefit from the erasure of native voices, since then they're the voice left standing. Much like how I benefit from misogyny; I can repeat indigenous women and even those people who were listening to them will stop and listen to me, because my messaging can gain a bigger audience faster.
@emsenn Would you be willing to write a response to that essay and submit to Roar Magazine or elsewhere?
@theruran maybe? let's see what comes out of my notes; I have right now 5 difficult essays that i need to catch up on, one of which is kind of a catch-all against this "as kyriarchism bucks agianst its resource scarcity, it is going to assimilate and appropriate every culture it can to try and save itself; here's my interepreation of that trend in journalism and anthropology"
@emsenn Probably an essay from you would be much appreciated by Black Hammer Org.
Often, people who say what SilverSpook is saying say it much more... academically, or wrapped in layers of nature-derived metaphor. But he comes from a background more similar to mine, and so to my ear, is "saying it straight," and that's helped me... how laughably simple some of this is, once you see it.
@emsenn @theruran Much of my family is academic liberal colonized-mind Hawaiians and so I have an instinctual aversion to 'papering over' of the historic and ongoing imperialism with florid, Walden's Pond colonizer-escapism (which is the purpose of academia from the empire's perspective).
Sometimes we have to hear the hard truth straight, and feel the feelings, and face the reality. Some things are complex. But other things are simple, and intentionally complexified to prevent change.
@emsenn You're right I am desperate to read stuff like this, because I am constantly bombarded by information and views that affirm the kyriarchy. You're also right that I've had fantasies of neo-pioneerism without knowing what that is and without realizing that's what I wanted. What I have wanted is to live outside the system that enslaves me to "make a living" because I instinctually recognized it as unjust. (cont.)
@emsenn And I also failed to recognize Black indigenous ways of living as a possibility despite living in a neighborhood like that and interacting with my neighbors on a daily basis. So we can see how my extreme bias for not wanting to live in material poverty has blinded me from other ways of living that include the urban. By not deepening my experience there and instead going deeper into the tech elite, I have also isolated myself from people and places that could help me see and live. (cont.)
@emsenn I have felt stuck or hindered from my past decision to get a university degree — like I gotta keep it up or just live and die homeless — especially since the federal government won't let me go bankrupt on the student debt. Again, it's a learned helplessness, but my options have always felt extremely limited.
@theruran I get that; if you've only ever done colonial things, a different flavor of colonialism might seem like a genuinely different thing.
But like from my perspective, the OP doesn't require any knowledge of decolonization to be self-evidentially a... bad piece of reasoning. They talk about how bills pay their survival, talk about how we can move away from those environments to places where we won't have to pay bills... by selling things to people who pay bills?
It's just... an incomplete argument at its best and self-contradicting in other points.
"I'm so desperate for this kind of information I couldn't come off my emotionalism enough to do that" is fair, but... ...also what happened to that awareness of systemic racism that was so important a few months ago? There are people folk /know/ are surviving, /despite capitalism trying to kill them/...
...and there's nothing to learn from them? white people instead should go off into the country and form enclaves?
It's this like, deeeeeep allegiance to their own supremacy that doesn't even make folk see that they have this attitude where they ignore the efforts of those who came before in order to feel good about doing something new.
@theruran I just... I'm so annoyed that I have had to sit here and watch a bunch of people suddenly forget that the problems of the world are bigger than just "some people collect rent" because that's the problem that they feel the most pained by, and suddenly the notion of personally extracting lumber to sell for their survival instead sounds real appealing to them.
A generalization of settler thinking offered in hope that future grievance may be avoided
I think the problem of the settler mindset is that violence simplifies interactions. We grew up with parents, police, teachers, employers, etc. deploying various forms of violence in order to commodify interactions. Treating other people as individuals with complex motivations may be learned, but it isn't taught except in compartmentalized ways. It should be a consistent goal in our relationships to promote that richness, but with the education we have, it is a last resort. It's a matter of constant vigilance to learn from and about others, to be honest about ourselves, and to avoid reducing those around us to survival instincts out of the habit of living with (and seeking) supremacy rather than equality
Any fluff piece or movement that speaks of rising up or overcoming anything other than immediate violence is likely about achieving at least small s supremacy rather than coming to terms with complexity and accepting problems on a human scale that's respectful of people who can't tap privilege to do the thing that makes it simple. If such an article was any less connected to reality, it might as well be titled "let them eat cake"
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