If you want to help

Email from a Hippy ( a term of endearment )

Hippies were progressives, they preached love, protested war, and experimented with communal living. Hippies wanted out of the materialistic, consumer society. Yippies developed shortly after, when asked to define ‘yippie’ Jerry Rubin said that a yippie was a hippie who had been hit on the head by a policeman. Yippies were politically active and focused amongst other things on media.

I recently received an email from a resident of an ecological community, a “hippy”. If he was 50 years younger he would be “woke” perhaps. His community is a bold attempt to recruit like minded individuals to live in harmony with the planet, gardening, with few wants, as independent as possible.

I tried a variation of the same thing for many years, its really hard to find peasants who want to weed your garden. No matter how you slice it gardening is a spiritual communion that amounts to a $5.00 an hour activity.

The email looked at problems we face and a possible solution.

I agree with the statements;
-Growth economics is bad. Governments encourage growth.
-Humanity has stretched the planet to its limits.
-We are headed for Social breakdown and environmental collapse.

I take exception to blaming outcomes as causes;
-Capitalism is the problem.
-Expansion of capital exhausts and pollutes.
-Planned obsolescence exasperates our problems by seeking more growth, jobs and profits!
-Pre Capitalist wo/man was living in communal bliss with the planet.

The conclusion calling for a “new order”

The solution identified involves a new order, mostly a new way of thinking; action begins with feeling, just stimulate feelings and together we can shift toward a viable world where we would;
-share productive work and focus on fun and internal development instead of stuff; therefore consuming less.
-circulate elements endlessly between our bodies and local soils.
-create durably constructed homes warmed using renewable energy, seasonal shade and underground chill to keep cool.
-have minimal impact education and health care; share knowledge and encouraging each other to be our best.
-a society based on love; luxuries would be owned communally.
-end the threat of conflict over scarce resources and avoid environmental collapse, while leading more fulfilling lives.
-admittedly this would be hard to imagine, but everything is going to be okay if we just start by feeling.

Weird Sly Kip ( an old yippy, maybe) has this to say about that…

Our challenge is a process issue, the practical aspects of process control, not the long winded expressions of process philosophy; we have many more people that the world can support and our tax system encourages consumption. So that is where the focus must be. Tax law is not very sexy or appealing, but if applied intelligently would be an ecological 0ccums razor.

Use the scientific method, critical thinking, rational thought and skepticism everywhere. The ultimate distraction, one that sends us in the wrong direction is irrational discussions about eco-feminism, deep ecology, Biblical, Buddhist, Islamic or Hindu hermeneutics, any and all ancient wisdoms, anything that starts with the word sacred or Gaia.

The danger in trying to make people feel and then think, is that your thinking is probably wrong, as is mine, and your feelings even less likely to be correct and focused on a real solution. But scientific thinking has the benefit of always doubting itself, it does not matter what you believe, what matters is what you can prove, repeatably. That is a big difference.

What history tells us is likely to happen

At the heart of the hippie solution is a personal transformation; a transformation of ideas; this rarely happens without a fight, a beheading, burning people at the stake, or outright purges, so probably not a good idea.

What will happen is that we will continue as before, their will be yet another hick-up in our complex society , it could be a regional war, a meteor impact, another virus, a large volcano leading to a summer that never happens as in 536 and 1815, any one of a number of things can go wrong that will push us into another great famine.

Once that starts Governments will fight to protect their own, killing indiscriminately. The combination of war and famine will knock us back, how far, impossible to say. The survivors will do it all over again maybe ten, a hundred or a thousand years later. Starting with a much smaller population they may go in a different direction.


In regards to capitalism being the problem, or capital markets providing capital to give workers pay for their labour as a problem, not the issue. Its not the economic system, they all have their faults, It is our numbers. Some say its to many farms, or cows, cars, C02, Methane or to much plastic pollution, those are all outcomes of our numbers.

Its difficult for people munching their tofu burgers, driving their Prius to realize they are the problem, their very presence, all 9 billion of us, shitting, building durable homes with concrete, cutting down forests for wood, spitting out plastic for our snacks, the sum total of US. It is not the cows, the cars, the pollution, it does not matter if we are all Taoists, Capitalists, Buddhists, Roman Catholic, Communists, Quakers, Comedians, Jacobins or jihadists, its just our presence that is the problem.

Its not our footprint, its the path of 9 billion, that massive swath of multi lane express ways and 32 story apartment blocks, a concrete path we are carving everywhere we go. You have no footprint on a concrete path.

The solution is 2 fold.

Tax: We need to work on the tax code with a goal of not allowing massive accumulations of wealth, forget about taxing the wealthy or adjusting minimum wages, you have to prevent huge pockets of it from forming. It needs to be spread out for maximum prosperity. This will only happen when you separate the corporation and the state.
Population: To many people, you and me, tofu eating, Prius driving, Eco retreat living, breathing, shitting people. Over population; forget one kid per family we need 1 kid per ten families for the next 25 or so years; see what happens.

Specifics can be found in a similar article, similar rant.

If you want to help, work towards separating the corporate plutocracy from the state.

If you want to help have no children and encourage others especially those in China, Africa, and the South East Asians to do the same. Stop immigration, Stop the “I love to travel ideology”.

If you really want help forget about your narcissistic struggles for race, gender, feminism or being the greenest. Your footprint is gone, your another on the concrete path. “Your Individualism is going around in uniform, handing out the party line on individualism”. (Wendel Berry)

If you want to help realize its not about you, your feelings, or a transformation, its about the process, its tax law. as an individual you will die, work collectively and maybe a bit of you; your works; has a small chance of survival.

But I could wrong.

Weird Sly Kip February 2022 after getting firewood in the evening rain and the snow, listening to the sound of a distant owl

A poem by Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

by Wendell Berry

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.

And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.

When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.

So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.

Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot

Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.

Listen to carrion — put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.

So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.

As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.

Practice resurrection.

“Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front” from The Country of Marriage, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. 1973. Also published by Counterpoint Press in The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry, 1999; The Mad Farmer Poems, 2008; New Collected Poems, 2012.