Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Communities that Abide—Part IV: Causes of Failure

Up until now in this series my approach has been to present what works: the set of practices which, when put together into a package, allow communities to last a long time—in some cases, for many centuries. Many readers found this exposition useful, while others found some of the practices disagreeable. This week I will now take the opposite approach, and concentrate on what has been proven to not work, or to work very badly. In a follow-up to the previous post, which expounded on the superiority of communism in both production and consumption when it practiced at the scale of the commune, I now present a chapter I rather freely translated from Peter Koropotkin's Anarchy, which explains how such experiments fail socially in spite of their initial success in achieving self-sufficiency.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Interview on People First Radio

Author Dmitry Orlov says that if financial, commercial, and political collapse are met with appropriate responses, the more extreme aspects of social and cultural collapse could be prevented... (Read more)

Download mp3 directly.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Sea Gypsy Tribe Start-up Manual

[This is a guest post from Ray, who sailed off from San Francisco some years ago and has been living as a sea gypsy ever since. Sea gypsies have a lot going for them: relative self-sufficiency and self-reliance, camaraderie, competence, mobility and plenty of free, open habitat where they can roam freely.]

In my last essay, I proposed an unusual response to the possibility of global societal collapse that previously has not been suggested.  My core message was summed up in these 30 words:

“I believe that if there is a near extinction catastrophe, a sea gypsy tribe has the best chance of both surviving and replenishing the human population in the wisest manner.”

For those of you who may not have read that article, I encourage you to do so before continuing with this one.  THAT piece provides the “why to” background information for my belief that economic, energy and ecological disasters are very possible in our near future.  It then suggests that various sea gypsy tribes scattered about the planet provide an excellent survival and re-seeding option.  THIS article provides the basic “how to” information for anyone who was inspired by my message, and would like to join our movement.  My sense is that there are three potential types of candidates.  I refer to them as Seekers, Converts and Recruits.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Communities that Abide—Part III

Alexander Kosolapov
There are two organizing principles that self-sufficient communities can rely on in order to succeed: communist organization of production and communist organization of consumption. Both of these produce much better results for the same amount of effort, and neither is generally available to the larger society, which has to rely on the far more wasteful market-based or central planning-based mechanisms, both of which incur vast amounts of unproductive overhead—bankers, traders and regulators in the case of market-based approaches, and government bureaucrats and administrators in the case of centrally planned approaches. History has shown that market-based approaches are marginally more efficient than centrally planned ones, but neither one comes anywhere near the effectiveness of communist approaches practiced on the small scale of a commune.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Interview on What Now with Ken Rose

Most memorable moment:
Ken: So do you think humanity can come together as one family, or is that hopelessly naïve?
Me: It's hopelessly naïve.

Listen to it here.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Communities that Abide—Part II

Byigor Morski
This series of articles is dedicated to the idea that there is much that can be learned from the practices of communities that manage to persist over the long term with their cultures or subcultures remaining largely intact. Such communities can provide everything their members need—housing, nutrition, education, medicine, entertainment, companionship, social security and, perhaps most important of all, a sense of belonging. While their specific practices may be alien to us, their commonalities should not be.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Dave Pollard's Review of The Five Stages of Collapse

I've just finished reading Dmitry Orlov’s new book The Five Stages of Collapse. It made me realize that I have probably been making two fundamental errors in my thinking about how our civilization/culture will collapse, and what we should do to become more resilient in the face of that collapse (taking steps like learning new personal and collective capacities, and re-learning how to create communities).

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Communities that Abide—Part I

Married to the Sea
In thinking through where we are and what awaits us, there is a very basic, simple, obvious question we can ask: Does our society work for us or against us? The US, regarded as a single community, that is; does it still function as such? Does it provide safety, security, a sense of belonging, freedom from necessity and want, meaningful opportunities to care for others, and to be cared for in return? Or has it become a cold, savage, alienating place watched over by the ubiquitous surveillance state and held together by “law and order” and the implicit threat of violence?