|Anthony Freda Art|
When a problem occurs or when something is wrong we have traditionally been conditioned to find someone who is “in charge”, a final arbiter of decision making who will have all of the answers and know all of the right things to say and do.
If we apply this understanding to the realm of government, it is not difficult to see that the current system of electoral politics is not an effective or moral way for people to actually create meaningful change in their communities and the planet as a whole. Year after year, administration after administration the faces change, but the oppression continues to escalate.
So what do we do? How do we solve these problems? Do we look to authority? Do we put someone else in charge? Of course not! How has that been working out for us all along? Not so well, right?
If anything, that political approach that I just described is the lazy way of going about change, but actually working on solutions yourself is truly meaningful action. There are a ton of ways that you can contribute to helping the global situation without politics. In fact, you will do much better than the politicians at actually achieving the goal. Below is just a few ways that I have recently seen people solving problems in their community by themselves, without the government.
(1) Opt Out in Every Way Possible – Non-Compliance is a long-term strategy and won’t achieve overnight results, but this is still a necessary part of this social evolution that I am speaking of. Opting out is a way of pulling your support out of the system, and putting your support in something that will eventually outshine the system and make it obsolete. That is a lot of the idea behind pulling yourself out of the political process and refusing to vote. Voting takes a lot of time and energy, especially if you are donating money to political parties and campaigning for candidates. Opting out will instantly free up that time, energy and money for causes that will be more effective in achieving your goal of improving society.
(2) Be Your Own President – Presidents are not “leaders” as the masquerade to be, they are appointed masters who seek to control the thoughts and actions of large groups of people. You have the choice to disobey any random code or policy that doesn’t stand up to the non-aggression principle and natural law. Exercising that choice is a way of finding freedom in a seemingly unfree world. If you break government laws and no one gets hurt in the process, and no property has been damaged or stolen, then you have done nothing wrong. Be your own master instead of letting someone else control your behavior.
(3) Campaign for Philosophy – After watching puppet after puppet go through office we should all know by now that “getting the right guy in there” isn’t any kind of possibility, and even it was a possibility, it would be like giving a really nice guy a sledgehammer to repair a complicated supercomputer. What really needs to happen is an advancement of philosophy and a change in the way that this species looks at the world. All of the answers for exactly how the future will be built is not yet known and truly unpredictable, but the problems in our current system are obvious enough that they are easy to identify. The fundamental flaws with our traditional way of life as a species is that it has been acceptable for people to force their will on one another, through both private and political means. As a result violence has plagued our species for ages when we could have easily shed this neurotic tendency just after the stone ages.
(4) Support or Start Mutual Aid Groups – As an article pointed out this week, mutual aid groups were one of the most popular ways that people ensured the welfare of their families and neighbors before the government created programs to make everyone depend on them for help. Years later we can see the results of this approach, as these programs are in total disarray because their purpose was never actually to help people, and those involved have no real incentive to make these programs productive because they aren’t even a part of the community that depends on them. This is what makes mutual aid groups different. First off, these are all programs which are joined by choice and funded voluntarily and they allow people to directly interact with whoever they are helping and with whoever is helping them. These programs are highly efficient and realistic even in today’s world. As I pointed out last week a variation of this idea is already becoming popular among jobless people in Spain, who have been using mutual aid organizations called time banks, to help each other weather the tough times.
(5) Support or Create Alternative Currency – There are alternative currencies popping up all over the world, and all over the Internet as well. Bitcoin has been the primary currency used online, but the market is open to competitors so Bitcoin will have to actually continue to satisfy customers, or it will surely give way to a more user friendly currency, something that the Federal Reserve System has never had to do because they monopolize the currency. For close communities and urban markets coupon based, community backed currencies are starting to develop, which allow people to opt out of the Federal Reserve System, and barter with their neighbors using a mutually agreed upon medium of exchange which has no tie to politics at all. In Baltimore many use “Bnotes” to trade amongst themselves, out west they have something called mountain hours that works in much the same way. If there is one of these currencies in your community see what you can do to get involved, if not there are plenty of places online that will tell you how to start this kind of project yourself.
(6) Support or Create a Community Garden – Food prices are getting high and quality is getting lower, making times extremely tough for anyone trying to be healthy. If there is already a garden in your community, try to get involved and support them as much as possible. If there isn’t one in your community, think about starting one yourself!
(7) Support or Create Alternative Media – It’s no secret that the mainstream media is a dying entity that has totally lost the confidence of the general population. CNN has been reporting an 80% decrease year after year, and the outlets on either side of the aisle aren’t doing much better either. They are all losing their audience to the people-powered alternative media which is run by large networks of individual activists, most of which really need and deserve some support from the people who appreciate their media. Cancelling your cable subscription and putting that money towards your favorite alternative media organization is a big step in shifting the control of information back into the hands of free people exchanging ideas, instead of government monopolists.
(8) Act with Kindness and Compassion in Your Own Life – Self-explanatory, be excellent to each other.
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If you have any questions or disagreements feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
J.G. Vibes is an author, and artist with an established record label and event promotion company that hosts politically charged electronic dance music events. You can keep up with him and his new 87 chapter book Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance, as well as his show Voluntary Hippie Radio at www.aotmr.com