A Life Adrift from What?
From a passion for the natural world, the natural world that we are all an interdependent part of, came a desire to stop destroying it. The economic, political and social conditions that most of us live in today do exactly that – destroy it. We live on a finite planet where everything is ecologically connected, and yet our systems and individual behaviours do not reflect this. This becomes clearer with each passing year as we see record extinction rates, depleted and polluted forests, oceans and all those things we depend on to live a good life.
The economic system of perpetual growth, unregulated capitalism, and using money and materialism as hallmarks of success, benefit very few. The suggestion that empowering and filling the coffers of corporations and the wealthy will benefit everyone else via trickle-down economics is a fable invented by those same entities out of self-interest. This has been proven to not work throughout history, specifically in the agricultural, industrial and scientific revolutions. All that results is more production, often of unnecessary things, greater accompanying consumption and waste, and greater wealth inequality as the rich get richer and the poor get the picture.
This economic system is obsolete for most and destructive for the earth and all of its inhabitants. It is structured to protect itself and its interests and to resist attempts to change it. It conceals itself inside a paradigm that is promoted as an inviolable fact of life. It is not one.
The political system also, is a joke, except it’s not very funny. We buy into the myth of democracy when it is increasingly clear that government does not represent people, it represents the highest bidder – corporations and donors. Politics should not be about money and corporations should have no say in policy, people should.
Policies are increasingly based on the political ideology and personal agendas of politicians. They consist of short-term gimmicks, slogans and the voter bribery used to bolster their own re-election chances, rather than policies that have long-term sustainable benefits.
Politicians seem to consider themselves part of a distinct elite class and are not bound by the same laws that they create for their constituents. They are not bound to honesty, are not held accountable for their words or actions and are more and more accountable only to the corporations who sponsor them. This ain’t democracy folks.
Both government and corporations are behind massive efforts aimed to separate people from the reality of consumerism and materialism. They aim to dumb us down into believing it is good for us and that the endless work that results is both productive and noble. The resultant competitiveness leads to increased individualism and isolation and the deterioration of communities. We are distracted from the real elements of a good life, such as health, happiness and true prosperity.
A Vision of Something Else
It is one thing to protest or escape FROM a system that is no longer working, but it is as essential to have a vision of what we are escaping TO.
The Life Adrift vision is of a growing tribe living outside of the rampant consumer society in a way that is inclusive, sustainable and fair to all life, not just humans and certainly not just the ‘elite’. The vision is to live a good life with a focus on health, happiness and prosperity.
Apart of Nature
This tribe will consider the living world in everything it does, recognising that humans are a part of nature, not apart from it. In considering food, health and shelter, the new tribe will conceive, produce, maintain and consume them sustainably. Consumption of the earth and the sacred environment will fall away as the new world takes care of its needs responsibly, giving it a chance and helping it to repair itself. They will take back the right to deny the destruction of their living environment by those seeking to do it harm.
The new way does away with the dogma of money as wealth and of bigger is better. It adopts many of the principals of the Stoic Philosophy of life in terms of minimalism, simplicity and non-attachment. It favours enjoyment, appreciation and utility over exploitation and ownership.
With less focus on ownership and accumulation, there will be less need for work. It considers that work for work’s sake is nonsense. With less work, there will be more time for leisure and pursuing interests, contribution, growth and creativity. Learning how to be self-reliant generalists is a central theme.
The Life Adrift is concerned with healthy communities. Human connection will trump competition as communities work creatively together to fill the decreasing material needs required to thrive. The tribe will take back control of their food supply, their electrical grid and water systems and manage them locally and responsibly.
The tribe does not need government or governing. It is not interested in voting in our non-democratic systems or in participation in any way. It does not require government services and in return will not pay government taxes.
In considering what a sustainable and thriving world looks like, the approach and timing of The Life Adrift is twofold.
Individuals living a good life in sustainable systems
The first approach is happening now. It is happening where it can happen, at the grass roots, by the individual. Leaving consumer society, and living a good life that does not damage the chances of others and the future others doing the same is underway now.
The hope is that progressive people aware of the reality of the world will be drawn to this new way, leaving the broken systems behind in obsolescence. As more individuals and then communities turn their backs on the old world and start to prosper in the new, the exodus will erode the power that the crooked and greedy captains of the old world still hang on to. Starved of human and financial capital, corporations will give way to co-operation and community, as the new tribe and the new way of being gains strength through popularity. It will stand alone, outside of the framework of the old system. This is the bottom-up approach.
Undermining broken and destructive systems
And then there is the sideways approach which will happen in parallel. The Life Adrift is not about changing old systems. We are not about making some adjustments or about doing some fine tuning. We are starting from scratch and won’t be bound or related them in any way. But from the new world, we will lob grenades at the old.
Investigating, understanding and undermining those forces at work that are behind the destruction, namely our economic system based on infinite growth – clear lunacy, the corporations that exist to exploit and profit from it and the governments that are largely under their control.
The Life Adrift aims to inspire people to stand up and either get active about or escape from these systems which are the enemy of a good life. Writing articles and books about the escape process and the life on the other side of escape is one medium. Another is inventing and running projects and experiments, sometimes absurd, that demonstrate that the new way of living is indeed one that you need to consider.